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National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program that provides nutritious, low-cost or free lunches to students each day. Specific meal patterns and nutrition standards are required in the NSLP.

Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, School Food Authorities may not charge reduced-price students for lunch. CDE School Nutrition reimburses eligible SFAs an additional $0.40 in state funds for every reduced-price lunch claimed.

How To Apply

Application Instructions

Use the following resources to assist with completing the application.

*Please note you must have and login to a Moodle account to access the recording.

New Sponsor Forms and Site Links

  • New User Request Form - fill out this form to request access or modify users in the Colorado Nutrition Portal.
  • New Site Request Form - fill out this form to request new site additions to your application in the Colorado Nutrition Portal.

Application Deadlines

The 2023-24 renewal application is due Friday, September 15, 2023.

The application approval process can take up to two weeks to complete, especially when participating in multiple child nutrition programs. You will not be able to submit a claim until your application is approved.

How to Claim

Sponsors must follow the counting and claiming procedures under the National School Lunch Program. Eligible meals for reimbursement must meet the NSLP meal pattern and be a reimbursable meal. Additionally, meals must be tracked by student and their associated free, reduced-price or paid eligibility status.

All meals must be submitted for reimbursement within the Colorado Nutrition Portal. Reimbursement claims are due 60 days after the end of each month.

Reimbursement Rates

Below are the numbers which reflect the amount of money the federal government provides sponsors for lunches, afterschool snacks and breakfasts served to children participating in the National School Lunch Program.

Claim Deadlines

Reimbursement claims are due 60 days after the end of each month.

Additional guidance and Resources for submitting accurate claims in the Colorado Nutrition Portal.

Counting & Claiming Tools

Program Requirements

Use the resources below to operate a successful and compliant School Lunch Program.

Policy & Guidance

Review the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS) policies and guidance to help you manage a successful and compliant program.

Program Adjustment Requests

Complete the non-traditional point of sale request form when a school site does not have the ability to place the point of sale at the end of the serving line.

Complete the extended meal time waiver form for sites that require breakfast to be served before 10 a.m. or lunch served after 2 p.m. 

Compliance Tools

All sponsors operating the National School Lunch Program with multiple sites must complete an on-site monitoring form for each site by Feb. 1 each year.

Program Resources: