Resource | Technical Assistance & Guidance
Guidance and Resources

For more information on the operation of the National School Lunch Program and all the child nutrition programs, contact the state agency in your state that is responsible for the administration of the programs.

Resource | Toolkits
Tools for Schools: Focusing on Smart Snacks

A number of tools and resources are available to help schools identify food items that meet Smart Snacks criteria. See the resources below for information about the Smart Snacks requirement, helpful tools, and ways to encourage children to make healthier snack choices that give them the nutrition they need to grow and learn.

Resource | Fact Sheets
Buy American Fact Sheet

A resource for school meals program operators on the Buy American Provision. This provision safeguards the health and well-being of our Nation’s children and supports the U.S. economy, American farmers, and small and local agricultural businesses. The National School Lunch Act requires school food authorities (SFAs) to purchase, to the maximum extent practicable, domestic commodities or products.

Resource | Technical Assistance
Professional Standards

Professional Standards for school nutrition professionals is a key provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). The final rule, published March 2, 2015, requires a minimum amount of annual training hours for all state directors of school nutrition programs, state director of distributing agencies, school nutrition program directors, managers, and staff. Required training topic areas will vary according to position and job requirements. There are also minimum hiring standards for new state directors of school nutrition programs, state directors of distributing agencies that oversee USDA Foods, and school nutrition program directors.

Resource | Technical Assistance & Guidance
Community Eligibility Provision Resource Center

The CEP Resource Center provides extensive resources for parents, teachers, and school officials at the local, state, and federal level to better understand CEP and its positive benefits, along with useful tools to help facilitate successful implementation of the provision in your school!

Resource | Toolkits
Tools for Schools: Offering Fruits and Vegetables

Kids eat more fruits and vegetables, when more fruits and vegetables are offered. A recent Harvard study reported that, under the updated standards for school meals, kids are now eating 16 percent more vegetables and 23 percent more fruit at lunch. During School Year 2014-2015, schools will start to offer more fruits at breakfast. Find information below on how your school can meet meal pattern requirements in ways that boost student acceptance of fruit and vegetable offerings.

Resource | Toolkits
Tools for Schools: Reducing Sodium

Schools are an important player in overall national efforts to reduce the amount of salt that people eat. As such, schools participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs will continue to reduce the amount of salt in meals by choosing lower sodium versions of foods and flavoring foods with spices and herbs. See the resources below for information about sodium limits in school meals and guidance on selecting and preparing foods with less sodium.

Resource | Toolkits
Tools for Schools: Serving Whole Grain-Rich

School meals are giving kids the goodness of whole grains. Whole grains give kids B vitamins, minerals, and fiber to help them feel full longer so they stay alert to concentrate at school. Beginning SY 2019-2020, half of the weekly grains offered must be whole grain-rich and the remaining grain items must be enriched.

Resource | Toolkits
Tools for Schools

Tools for Schools offers topic-specific policy and resource materials to assist schools in meeting the new nutrition standards. Refer to the latest regulations, find free nutrition education curricula, or get ideas for adding tasty, kid-friendly foods to enhance your school meals program.

Resource | FAQs/Q&As
School Meals - FAQs

School meals are required to meet specific nutrition standards to operate the school meals programs. The standards align school meals with the latest nutrition science and the real world circumstances of America’s schools.