SBP Quick Summary:

The School Breakfast Program provides cash assistance to states in order to operate nonprofit breakfast programs in schools and residential childcare institutions. The Food and Nutrition service administers the SBP at the Federal level. State education agencies administer the SBP at the state level, and school food authorities operate the Program within the schools. 

How Does the SBP Work?

The School Breakfast Program operates in a similar manner as the National School Lunch Program. Public or nonprofit private schools of high school grade and under or public or nonprofit private residential child care institutions are permitted to participate in the School Breakfast Program. For the participating school districts and independent schools, they receive cash subsidies from the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) for each meal that they serve. They must serve breakfasts that meet Federal requirements and must offer free or reduced price breakfasts to any eligible children. 

What are the Meal Requirements for School Breakfasts?

Each participating school must meet a meal pattern and nutrition standards based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Most changes to the SBP's meal patterns began in SY 2013-2014, which began to include more whole grains that offered zero grams of trans fat per portion and an appropriate amount of calories for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. During SY 2014-2015, a target was aimed to reduce the amount of sodium and to increase the amount of fruit offered. 

All breakfasts must meet Federal standards. 

For How Long Do Children Qualify for Free and Reduced Price Breakfasts?

Any child that is a student at a participating school or child care institution may purchase a meal through the School Breakfast Program. For children belonging to families with income levels at or below 130 percent of the Federal poverty level are eligible to receive free meals. Families with incomes ranging between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price meals, in which students cannot be charged more than 30 cents. 

How Much Reimbursement Do Schools Get?

Most of the reimbursement that they receive is provided by the USDA in cash for the price of each meal served. To view current reimbursement rates, visit FNS's site HERE.

SBP History:

The School Breakfast Program (SBP) was established in 1966 as a two-year-pilot projects that was designed to provide grants to assist schools serving breakfast to "nutritionally needy" children. During the beginning the term "nutritionally needy" was undefined, so the original legislation stipulated that the assistance be given to schools located in poorer areas in which children were required to travel lengthy distances to school. In order to encourage schools in those needy areas, Congress then released an increase in federal payments for schools that were determined as "severely needy." In the first year of operation, the SBP was able to serve about 80,000 children at a federal cost of $573,000. 

Over the next few years, the pilot program lifted off and was extended various times, while a number of modifications were made to the variations. Congress then decided that priority consideration for the program would incorporate schools in which there were special needs to improve the nutrition and dietary practices of children belong to working mothers and low-income families. Most importantly, in 1973, the categorical grant reimbursement structure was substituted for a system of specific per-meal reimbursement. 

Come 1975, the program was granted permanent authorization. Congress declared its intent that the program "be made available in all schools where it is needed to provide adequate nutrition for children in attendance."

Legislation pursued further emphasis in the need for "severely needy" schools to participate and to provide them with higher reimbursements. 

Energize Your Day with School Breakfast:

Within this are provided a collection of digital resources that the SBP operators and others stakeholders might use to establish or expand the breakfast services within their school(s). 

Visit for "Energeize Your Day with School Breakfast" Information. 


Last Published 5/01/2016