National School Lunch Program

In Rhode Island, the National School Lunch Program provides nutritious, low-cost or free lunches to over 72,000 children daily. Schools that take part in the lunch program get cash subsidies and donated foods from USDA.

Participating program Sponsors include all public schools, state schools and charter schools, and some private schools, special needs citizen centers, and residential child care institutions.

All public schools in Rhode Island are mandated by state law to provide lunches.

Children from families with income:

  • Up to 130 % of poverty level are eligible for free meals.
  • Between 130 to 185 % of poverty level are eligible for reduced-price meals ($.40 or less).
  • Over 185 % of poverty pay a price determined by the school or institution for their subsidized meal.

69 % of the lunches served in Rhode Island are served free or at the reduced price.

For additional program information contact:

Stephen Carey, MS RD Nutrition/ School Health Specialist  


Sandra Fabrizio, MS

Sponsor Annual Renewal Documents

Annual Update for Current School Nutrition Program Sponsors

In October each year, Sponsors in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, the After-School Snack Program and the Special Milk Program need to update their Agreement with RIDE.  The Annual Agreement Update for the School Nutrition Programs memo provides more detail on this process.


Email or fax the completed forms to RIDE by October 13th.  Email to or fax to 401-222-6163. 


Complete the enclosed Sponsor Update form (R1).  This annual Update is a federal requirement.  It provides the opportunity to update certain information that RIDE has on file about your district’s or school’s participation in and operation of the Federal School Nutrition Programs.   


Complete the CNP Connect Site/User Update (R2) if you need to inform RIDE of any:

  • Schools or sites that are no longer in operation this year under your authority and,
  • Any staff that no longer should have access to the CNP Connect Gateway. 

    Any sites or individuals you identify on the Update form will be removed from this year’s on-line Agreement.


    Complete an Adding School/Site form (R3) (attached) for any new school to be added to your Agreement    


            Delegation of Authority Forms must be completed to assign staff with user logins and passwords.  It is not necessary to complete these forms for current users.

              Complete the "Delegation of Authority Level 1" form if you want new users to approve or submit data and information through CNP Connect.  This must be approved by an existing Level 1 User.

              Complete the "Delegation of Authority Level 2" form if you want new users to enter data into CNP Connect.  This must be approved by an existing Level 1 User.


    Once RIDE receives the documents listed above, your 2015 Agreement will be renewed. 
    Our EZ Guide provides step-by-step instructions to help you update your on-line Agreement.
    Please review and update your Agreement. All information associated with your Agreement will be carried forward except the following:   
  • meal prices being charged in schools (on-line Agreement tab, page 1)
  • attendance factor (on-line Agreement Tab, page 2)
  • individual school/site enrollment (on-line Site tab, page 2)
    • You'll need to re- enter these pieces of information into your Agreement.

  • review all the information in your on-line Agreement in CNP Connect,
  • update any missing information, and
  • make changes where appropriate.   

    If you have any questions, please contact Stephen Carey at


Annual Verification Process


Community Eligibility Provision

The new Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) makes it easier for all children in low-income communities have access to healthy meals at school.  CEP allows schools in high poverty areas to offer nutritious meals through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs to all students at no change while eliminating school meal applications. Contact Becky Bessette for additional information on CEP in RI. 

The CEP Fact Sheet provides an overview of the Community Eligibility Program.

Here is the of listing of:

For additional information, check the USDA CEP website and the Food Research and Action Center website. 

CEP Reimbursement Estimator (calculator tool) allows schools that are considering the Community Eligibility Provision to calculate their estimated federal reimbursement they will receive.  This will help assess the financial viability of their school meal program under CEP.

Districts interested in participating in the CEP in 2015-2016 should complete the CEP SFA Participation Form, and the CEP Eligibility Worksheet.

Districts/schools that have elected to participate in CEP for at least one site must notify households of children attending the CEP school(s) of CEP participation in the 2015-2016 school year.  LEAs may use this Sample Household Letter to serve as the required notification.

E-Rate guidance has been issued by both USDA and the Federal Communications Commission.  It provides information on newly adopted rules for the E-rate program, including how school districts with CEP schools should calculate their discount rates beginning in School Year 2015 2016.

US Department of Education has issued guidance on Title 1 Part A. and CEP .

Healthy Snacks & Beverages in Schools

Healthy Snacks & Beverages

USDA recently published practical, science-based nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold to children at school during the school day.  As of July 1, 2014, these standards allow schools to offer healthier snack foods to children, while limiting less nutritious foods.

Here is our Healthy Snacks & Beverages information. 

Training & Training Resources

Here you’ll find any upcoming trainings, videos available for viewing, and links to helpful training resources.

The 2015 - 2016 Annual School Meal Programs Training

Here are the presentations and resources from our October 2015 training.

USDA's Team Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support the Child Nutrition Programs through training and technical assistance for foodservice, nutrition education for children and their caregivers, and school and community support for healthy eating and physical activity.

Nutrition & Wellness

USDA Nutrition Programs are designed to improve the health and well-being of children and adults. Here is additional information on nutrition and wellness.

Read more on RI Nutrition Requirements [PDF, 31KB]

Wellness and the National School Lunch Program

Local wellness policies are an important tool for parents, schools and Sponsor in promoting student wellness, preventing and reducing childhood obesity, and providing assurance that school meal nutrition guidelines meet the minimum federal school meal standards.

Each local Sponsor (district, charter school, indepndent schools, RCCI's) that participate in the National School Lunch Program or other federal Child Nutrition programs are required by federal law to establish a local school wellness policy for all schools under its jurisdiction.

Additional school wellness resources:

Documents, Resources & Links Library

Reimbursement Rates and Processing Claims

The Reimbursement and Claims section provides information on USDA reimbursement rates, and RIDE's CNP Connect secure claims processing and management system.

USDA Reimbursement Rates

USDA reimbursement rates are updated on a yearly basis. Here are the current reimbursement rates.

USDA Donated Foods Program (Commodities)

The USDA's Schools/Child Nutrition Programs support American agricultural producers by providing cash reimbursements for meals served in schools, but also by providing nutritious, USDA-purchased food to the following nutrition programs:

  • National School Lunch Program;
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program; and the
  • Summer Food Service Program

For additional information:


CNP Connect Claims & Management System

CNP Connect includes a secure section for processing meal claims. For additional information on filing meal claims, go to the My CNPConnect site.

Program Data & Finance

This section provides local and national data on the National School Lunch Program, and information about fiscal aspects of the Program.

Breakfast State Match

Here is data on the allocation and distribution of RI state funds meant to support public schools providing breakfast meals to students.

2013 RIDE State Breakfast Funds Allocation [XLS, 41KB]

USDA Donated Food Entitlement

The USDA's Schools/Child Nutrition Programs support American agricultural producers by providing cash reimbursements for meals served in schools, but also by providing nutritious, USDA-purchased food to the following nutrition programs:

  • National School Lunch Program;
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program; and the
  • Summer Food Service Program

For additional information:

Breakfast Participation

The Annual RI Kids Count's Fact Book includes analysis of breakfast participation in the USDA School Breakfast Program.

USDA Program Finance and Participation Data

FNS Program Data