THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of P-20 Education Policy
This memo is to clarify the correct way to handle the meal service operation when schools encounter early dismissals. If the school food authority (SFA) offers a breakfast program, the students would receive breakfast as usual. If it is possible for the school to move the lunch service times so that all students have the chance to obtain lunch at school, before school is dismissed, this is a viable option.
It is not allowable, however, for a school to claim meals served to students that will not be consumed on the premises. Therefore, if school dismissal is scheduled before the normal lunch service hours, bag lunches can be prepared and claimed only if the students consume them before they leave the building. Students should never be sent home with bag lunches that have been claimed for reimbursement. Bag lunches containing all required food items of the meal pattern (including milk) can be claimed for reimbursement when the student is going to another educational environment such as BOCES. For field trips, bag lunches meeting meal pattern requirements can be claimed as long as milk is offered with every meal as part of lunch, and a staff member records the meals on a roster so that a categorical count can be obtained.
Questions should be directed to your respective child nutrition representative.