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Child Nutrition Information

Child Nutrition Services
23 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0023
Fax (207)624-6841

Child Nutrition > Programs




USDA Programs Monitored by Maine Department of Education/Child Nutrition Programs

Child Nutrition Services oversees several USDA Food and Nutrition Services programs and initiatives that provide healthy food to children.  Each of these programs helps fight hunger and obesity. Below are brief descriptions of the programs and initiatives. Maine receives over $45 million from USDA for these programs.


After School Snack Program (ASSP). The After School Snack Program provides after school snacks to children participating in structured educational programs.  Schools with more than 50% free and reduced eligible students provide the snacks free to any participating student. 

Breakfast Program (SBP). The School Breakfast Program (SBP)began as a pilot project in 1966, and was made permanent in 1975. The federally funded program receives additional financial support in Maine to increase participation and acknowledge the  importance of breakfast in improving learning

Fresh Fruit Vegetable Program (FFVP). The program provides a grant to elementary schools that are 50% or greater free and reduced.  The funds are used to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to children outside of the school meals, often served as a snack.  This program has helped students try new foods and increases their consumption of fruits and vegetables during the day.  The Maine grant for SY 2013 is $1.9 million.

Lunch Program (NSLP). Established in 1946 under the National School Lunch Act and signed into law by Harry Truman, the National School Lunch Program provides low-cost or free healthy meals to children.  Schools must follow federally established guidelines.

School Meals Program. (USDA site) The National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs provide nutritionally balanced  low-cost or free meals to children in public and private schools and residential child care institutions.  The programs are supported with cash reimbursement and USDA Foods.

Summer Food Service (SFSP). The Summer Food Service Program provides meal reimbursement to eligible summer programs.  Communities throughout Maine have opened the door to the SFSP and helped close the door on summer hunger. Sponsors include schools, community recreation programs, nonprofit organizations and camps.  Maine has over 87 sponsors with an estimated 254 sites for children to have a summer meal at no cost. Almost 481,000 meals and snacks were served in 2012.


USDA Food Program (FD). The USDA Food Program provides food to schools to help reduce plate cost. The program offers frozen vegetables, grains, meat, canned fruits, and fresh vegetables/fruit. The program attempts to provide good nutritional products for our students.

USDA Food Program Processing Information. School Districts have the option of taking USDA Food's raw products and processing them through the "Net-Off Invoice" program or a "Fee for Service".

Special Milk Program. (USDA site) provides milk to children in schools and nonprofit summer camps who do not participate in other Federal meal service programs. The program provides reimbursement for the milk they serve to children.

Monitoring the Child Nutrition Programs

Child Nutrition Programs are monitored to assure that federal and state regulations and rules are met and that funds are lawfully spent.  School Districts, Summer Food Service Programs and Residential Child Care Institutions are reviewed at least once every three years.

Review Information & School Review Schedule

Child Nutrition Projects

Local Foods to Local Schools . Across the Maine, an increasing number of schools and districts have begun to source more foods locally and to provide complementary educational activities to students that emphasize food, farming, and nutrition.  The Local Foods to Local Schools page will provide resources for local purchasing, grant opportunities and information of the Produce Fund.

Healthier School Day. (USDA Site) Students are getting healthier and more nutritious food in school.  Thanks to the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, improvements are being made across the country to transform school food and to promote better nutrition and reduce obesity.  Use this link to access the School Day Just got Healthier Campaign.

HealthierUS School Challenge. (USDA Site) The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary certification initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.

Maine Harvest Lunch Week. Establishes contacts/relationships with Maine producers to promote local food use in schools, educate students and parents about Maine products.

Team Nutrition (TN).(USDA site) 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.   USDA Food and Nutrition Services has developed some excellent resources for food service and teachers.

Chefs Move to Schools. When students have opprotunities to grow food and taste fresh fruits and vegetables, they are more likely to adopt life-long healthy habits. Chefs can play a major role in this process by providing hands-on taste testing to cooking demonstrations.