For Parents & Families

For children, the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program provides nutritious meals that follow the Dietary Recommendations for Americans.

The menus reflect the high standards of nutrition while offering:

  • Assorted fruit
  • Whole grains, breads and rolls
  • A variety of Vegetables
  • Fresh Salads
  • Skim and 1% low-fat milk  

For parents, the program offers a convenient method of providing a nutritionally balanced breakfast and lunch at the lowest possible price. For schools, these program enhance children's learning abilities by contributing to their physical and mental well being.

Studies have shown that children whose nutritional needs are met have fewer attendance and discipline problems and are more attentive in class.

School Breakfast Program

Children who eat a healthy breakfast pay more attention in class and have lower rates of tardiness and absenteeism.

In RI, all public schools are required to make breakfast available to their students. Some schools have instituted Breakfast in the Classroom. This offers students a complete breakfast in their classroom at the beginning of their school day. This is the perfect option for students who:

  • Don't have enough time to eat at home
  • Don't get to school before the first scheduled class, or
  • Simply aren't hungry first thing in the morning.

School Meals Applications

Many students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. A completed School Meals Application enables eligible students to eat breakfast for free or at a reduced prices of $0.30 and to eat lunch for free or at a reduced price of $0.40 or less.

Students who do not return a completed application and/or are not eligible for a free or reduced-price meal, can still purchase a meal through the National School Lunch Program. The prices of these meals are set by the local schools.

Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free meals. Those with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-priced meals.

Here are the current Meal Benefit Applications for use in the School Meal Programs (National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Afternoon Snack and Special Milk Programs).  These may also be obtained from your local schools.