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Office for Food and Nutrition Programs

National School Nutrition Programs Reimbursement Rates for Fiscal Year 2017

To:Superintendents of Public Schools, Administrators of Private Schools,
Residential Child Care Institutions and School Nutrition Directors
From:Robert M. Leshin, Acting Director
Office for Food and Nutrition Programs
Date:August 19, 2016


The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the reimbursement rates for School Food Service Programs effective July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. Federal reimbursement for free and reduced price lunches has increased. The state share is based on a state matching funds formula established at the federal level. The USDA Foods assistance level is at $0.23 per lunch served for 2015-2016.

Reimbursement Rates
National School LunchState ShareFederal ShareTotal
Paid Lunch$0.0600+$0.30$0.3600
Reduced Price Lunch$0.0600+$2.76$2.8200
Free Lunch$0.0600+$3.16$3.2200
Additional Six Cents
Reimbursement Rate
Federal ShareTotal

Federal Severe Need Lunch Rate — School systems in which 60% or more of the lunches served in 2014-2015 were free or reduced price will receive an additional 2 cents per lunch for all reimbursable lunches. The maximum charge for a reduced price lunch is 40 cents.

Six Cent Menu Certification Rate — School Food Authorities that meet the requirements outlined in the final rule for Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch Program and approved will receive an additional six cents for each reimbursable lunch.

School BreakfastFederal Non- Severe ReimbursementFederal Severe Need Reimbursement
Paid Breakfast$0.29$0.29
Reduced Price Breakfast$1.41$1.74
Free Breakfast$1.71$2.04

School Breakfast Program — The maximum charge for a reduced price breakfast is 30 cents. A "severe need breakfast school" is one in which 40% of lunches served in 2014-2015 were free or reduced price lunch meals. As a result of the reauthorization of Child Nutrition Programs (Public Law 108-265), severe need breakfast schools do not need to submit cost documentation to receive the federal severe need breakfast reimbursement. Schools required to offer breakfast under state law will be eligible for up to $0.10 for breakfast costs that exceed Federal Severe Need Reimbursement. These state-mandated schools must provide documentation of costs to receive this additional state reimbursement.

Special Milk reimbursement is $0.1975 per half pint. Special milk recipients may not participate in other child nutrition programs. Pricing programs with the free milk option receive the average cost per pint for eligible students.

After School Snack Reimbursement (All "At Risk" snacks are reimbursed at the Free Rate of $0.86). Maximum charge for a reduced price snack is 15 cents.

Paid Snack$0.07
Reduced Price Snack$0.43
Free Snack$0.86

Meal Pricing Guidelines — In general, the pricing of paid student meals should not exceed the actual cost of preparing the meals less the federal and state reimbursement rounded off to the next highest multiple of 5 cents. Adult meal charges must be priced to at least cover the actual cost of preparing and serving the meal. In addition, adults must be charged the state meals tax.

Equity in Meal Pricing — An annual review of paid meal prices must be conducted and reported to be in compliance with the equity in meal pricing provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-296). For SY 2016-17 the weighted average price of paid meals must be equal or greater than $2.78. Please see the Document and Reference Library for more information.

Last Updated: August 22, 2016
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