National School Lunch Program
House Bill 1238 Eligibility
The Washington State Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 1238 (2023): Providing Free School Meals for All. HB 1238 requires LEAs to provide meals at no cost to students enrolled at elementary schools where 40% or more of enrolled children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
Review the 2023–24 HB 1238 Eligible Schools Report for more details.
Update: OSPI Requesting Waiver to Extend CEP Application Deadline
Washington state is requesting a waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to extend the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) application deadline to September 30, 2023. The Washington state legislature passed House Bill (HB) 1878 during the 2021–22 legislative session, this waiver will allow Local Education Agencies required to operate the provision additional time to gather data and would avoid the potential burden of data collection within a short timeframe.
Questions? Please email the School Meals Team inbox.
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is designed to promote the health and well-being of children by providing nutritious meals to children. Public school districts, private schools, residential child care institutions (RCCIs), and Charter Schools may participate in school meal programs.
Local Education Agencies (LEAs) participating in the NSLP in Washington state may implement various meal service options such as the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), Provision 2, and House Bill (HB) 1238. Refer to the Comparison of Meal Service Options chart to help you determine the requirements for each meal service option.
Districts Administering the NSLP
New Sponsors-Start here to become a sponsor!
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and Provision 2- The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and Provision 2 provide an alternative approach for offering school meals at schools in low-income areas.
House Bill 1238—Meals for Washington Students- Beginning SY 2023–24, elementary schools where 40% or more of enrolled children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals are required to provide meals at no cost to all students.
Food Service Management Companies (FSMC)- Program sponsors may contract with a commercial enterprise or nonprofit organization that manages any aspect of the organization’s food service program.
Menu Planning and Meal Patterns-Discover the components of the nutritious, well-balanced, and age-appropriate meals served.
Meal Application and Verification Information- Meal application availability and the verification of submitted applications are important requirements that help to ensure integrity in School Meal Programs.
- Purchasing/ Procurement for Federal Programs - Sponsors are reimbursed through OSPI with funds from the USDA. Receiving public funds means sponsors are responsible to follow ethical business and purchasing practices set by USDA regulations.
- Reference Sheets-This guide provides information on program requirements and links to requirements and tools for compliance.
Elevate Your Program
- Farm to School- Farm to school connects communities with fresh, healthy food by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education sites.
- Training- Annual trainings and topics to expand your program knowledge.
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