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National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program Requirements


National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) resources to help sponsors operate successful and compliant programs.

Policy and Guidance


  • School Meal Eligibility: learn about direct certification, free and reduced-price applications, and the income verification process. 
  • Menu Planning page: learn about compliant meal patterns, menu planning guidance and tools, and meal quality resources.
  • Professional Standards: learn about new food service director requirements, annual training requirements, and access to additional training resources. 

  • School Wellness Policy: learn about local school wellness policies as well as school wellness best practices, funding opportunities, and more. 
  • Food Safety: learn about food safety inspections, policy, training, and resources. 
  • Procurement: learn about the Buy American Provision, Methods of Procurement, Procurement Policy and Standards of Conduct and more. 

Civil Rights

Child Nutrition program operators and sponsors must follow all civil rights regulations to ensure all eligible persons receive program benefits in a non-discriminatory manner. Civil rights are the nonpolitical rights of citizen; the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and acts of Congress. 

Complaint Procedure and Non-Discrimination Statement

Please note: the statement on the And Justice for All poster is different than the non-discrimination statement used on program materials. The And Justice for All posters serve as the equal opportunity policy notice while the non-discrimination statement notifies the public of the policy not to discriminate. 

Offer versus Serve 

Offer versus serve (OVS) is a concept that applies to menu planning and meal service. OVS allows students to decline some of the food offered in a reimbursable lunch or breakfast meal. OVS helps reduce food waste and allows students to choose the foods they want to eat. 

Smart Snacks and Competitive Foods

All foods sold on school property during the school day are required to meet nutrition standards. The Smart Snacks in School regulation applies to foods sold a la carte, in the school store, vending machines, and any other venues where food is sold to students. Competitive food service is any food or beverage sold to students that is separate from the district's nonprofit, federally reimbursed food service program, and is sold to students. 



Colorado Healthy Beverage Policy

The Colorado State Board of Education voted in favor of the proposed changes to align the CO Healthy Beverages Policy with the federal Smart Snacks standards and the revised policy has been approved through the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.  The policy can be implemented as early as Nov.14, 2016.

For more information or if an alternate version of a document is needed, please contact Erin Opgenorth or 720-822-1883. 

Special Dietary Needs

USDA's non-discrimination regulation (7 CFR 15b) and the regulations governing NSLP and the School Breakfast Program mandate that substitutions to the regular meal must be made for children who are unable to eat school meals because of their disabilities when that need is certified by a licensed physician. Visit CDE School Nutrition's Special Dietary Needs Online Training to learn more about accommodating special dietary needs.