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  • Overview

    The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) school nutrition programs are administered through the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA). Eligible public schools, non-profit private schools, and residential child care institutions (RCCI) enter into written agreements with NJDA to operate local programs that provide nutritionally balanced meals to children each day.

    The programs available with the School Nutrition Programs include: National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), After School Snack Program (ASSP), Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), Special Milk Program (SMP), and Seamless Summer Option (SSO).

    By participating in the School Nutrition Programs, schools and RCCIs serving meals or milk that comply with requirements can receive financial assistance.

    School Nutrition Programs Brochure [94] (1.18MB PDF)

    Click here to find out how to become a Sponsor.

    Reimbursement Rates – Public & Charter Schools

    Reimbursement Rates –  Private, Non-public Schools & RCCIs

    Click here to access SNEARS Resources

    Click here to access SNEARS Webinar Trainings

    Click here
    to access School Nutrition Programs forms.

    Please note that all School Nutrition Programs applicants and participants have a right to free language interpretation services. Additional forms and resources are available in SNEARS for authorized users. For questions, call 609-292-0692 for more information.

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  • National School Lunch Program

    The National School Lunch Program provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day in order to promote sound eating habits, foster good health and academic achievement, and reinforce the nutrition education taught in the classroom.

    The program was established under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1946.

    All NSLP lunches must meet federal meal pattern requirements, though decisions about the specific foods to serve and the methods of preparation are made by local school food authorities.

    NSLP What's on Your Tray Fact Sheet [101] (421K PDF)

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  • School Breakfast Program

    The School Breakfast Program provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free breakfasts to children each school day. The program was established under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to ensure all children have access to a healthy breakfast at school to promote learning readiness and healthy eating behaviors.

    Eating breakfast can improve school performance. Research shows that increase SBP participation is associated with better academic test scores, daily attendance, and class participation. The SBP also has been linked to reductions in student absences and tardiness.

    School Breakfast Brown Bag Fact Sheet [95] (469K PDF)

    Breakfast in the Classroom Procedures Brochure [302] (295K PDF)

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  • After School Snack Program

    The Afterschool Snack Program operates under the National School Lunch Program and provides cash reimbursement to help schools serve nutritious snacks to children in supervised afterschool activities. Schools must provide children with regularly scheduled activities in an organized, structured, and supervised environment that includes educational or enrichment activities, such as mentoring/tutoring programs. Competitive interscholastic sports teams are not eligible.

    Afterschool Snack Program Fact Sheet [224] (1,584K PDF)

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  • Special Milk Program

    The Special Milk Program provides low-fat (1%) or fat-free milk to children in schools and child care institutions that do not participate in other USDA meal service programs. The SMP reimburses schools for the milk served. Schools in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program also may participate in the SMP to provide milk to children in half-day pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs where children do not have access to the USDA school meal programs.

    Special Milk Programs Fact Sheet [102] (135K PDF)

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  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

    The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program provides all children in participating schools with a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school day. It is an effective and creative way of introducing fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options. The FFVP also encourages community partnerships to support the schools when they offer free fruit and vegetables to children during the school day. The 2021-22 Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Applications are due by May 7, 2021.

    Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program 2021-22 Memo

    Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program 2021-22 Application Packet

    Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Fact Sheet [159] (18K PDF)

    2020-2021 Participating New Jersey Schools

    Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Handbook

    Fruits and Veggies from A to Z

    New Jersey’s Quick Steps to Fruits and Vegetables Toolkit

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  • Eat Right, Move More Program

    The NJ Department of Agriculture’s Jets PLAY 60 “Eat Right Move More” program is a joint effort between the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the New York Jets, and the American Dairy Association Northeast. The goal of the Jets Play 60 “Eat Right, Move More” program is to recognize schools in New Jersey that have succeeded in improving their school nutrition and physical activity, and to promote further success throughout our state. Applications are available annually for schools to compete at a chance to win grant incentives and Jets player visits and prizes.

    Click here for more information and to apply online.

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  • Wellness Policy

    USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) requires all School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program to create a local school wellness policy that promotes the health and wellness of students and addresses the issue of childhood obesity. 

    Click here for regulations, guidelines, and resources to develop written policies established by the SFA.

    Use the Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Tool Kit to create a Local Wellness Policy tailored to the unique needs of the SFA. 

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  • Community Eligibility Provision

    The Community Eligibility Provision provides a reimbursement option for eligible districts that wish to offer meals at no cost to ALL students in high poverty schools without collecting household applications.

    CEP Participating LEAs

    CEP Annual Notification May 1st  

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  • Seamless Summer Option

    The Seamless Summer Option combines features of the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Summer Food Service Program. It reduces paperwork and administrative burden, making it easier for schools to feed children from low-income areas during the traditional summer vacation periods. School district participating in the NSLP or SBP are eligible to apply to the NJDA to participate in the SSO. In the SSO, school districts serve meals free of charge to children ages 18 and younger from low-income areas.

    Seamless Summer Option Fact Sheet [107] (234K PDF)

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  • State Agency Administrative Review Summaries

    USDA’s final rule of the National School Lunch Act requires the posting of summaries of the most recent final Administrative Review results for each SFA. The summaries include General Program Participation and Review Findings.

    Most Recent Administrative Review SFA Summaries

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  • Contact Information

    Click here to view a School Nutrition Programs staff directory, for more information.

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  • New Jersey National School Lunch Program Waiver Requests

    Click here to view the New Jersey National School Lunch Program AR Waiver Request. 

    Click here to view the New Jersey NSLP Seamless Summer Option (SSO) Area Eligibility Waiver Request

    Click here to view the New Jersey FFVP Parent-Guardian Pick-Up Waiver Approval Notice 

    Click here to view the New Jersey FFVP Parent-Guardian Pick-Up Waiver Approval Notice 

    Click here to view the New Jersey Alternate FFVP Serving Locations Waiver Approval Notice 

    Click here to view the New Jersey Oversight Plan Waiver Request

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