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Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Service Directors/Managers
Frances N. O’Donnell, Coordinator
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Inappropriate Claiming for Meals on Weekends, Vacations, Holidays, Spring Recess, etc.

It has been brought to our attention that some schools may be claiming for meals served to students on weekends, vacations, holidays, recess weeks, etc. This serves as a reminder to School Food Authorities (SFAs) that all enrolled students must be required to be at school in order to claim meals for reimbursement. In other words, the day must be a regularly scheduled education day on your school calendar. Therefore, meals served on Saturdays and other days when school is not regularly in session are not reimbursable, despite any school funded extra-curricular activity that is taking place such as football, band or choral activity.

Traditional schools which operate Monday through Friday receive federal and state reimbursement for meals or milk served during the periods set aside for meal and milk service during the regular school week. Meals and milk served by the SFA on the weekend may be reimbursable only if the activity is an integral part of the curriculum or an actual extension of the local educational program that all enrolled students are required to attend. The decision as to whether an activity is an integral part of or extension of the curriculum is to be made by those who determine curriculum in the State education agency, in conjunction with a review of the actual situation with the local SFA.

This does not prohibit you from providing meals to students who come in on the weekend for a sports event, spring concert, remedial or enrichment classes etc. Some schools choose to provide meals to hungry children on weekends; however, these meals are not eligible to be claimed for reimbursement. Also, if a school does serve meals on Saturday or during school vacations, food purchased with food service funds cannot be used. We understand that as the economic situation worsens, more families qualify for free or reduced meals, and we share your concern about the nutritional welfare of our economically disadvantaged children. However, the intent of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs is to provide meals to children when school is in session, not during vacations, holidays, spring or winter breaks, etc. Technically, it is not within the scope of USDA’s regulatory authority to reimburse meals under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs on those days when school is not in session.

Schools who require all enrolled children to be in attendance for Saturday and/or Sunday classes because those days are regular school days may be reimbursed for meals served on those educational days.

Boarding schools that serve meals or milk on weekends may be reimbursed only if the weekend is an extension of the weekday educational program, as defined by the State education agency. However, residential child care institutions may be reimbursed for meals served on weekends.

In all cases, care must be taken to ensure that accurate records are maintained, including meal or milk counts for free, reduced price and paid categories, as appropriate.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at (518) 473-8781.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)     mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)     email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


For Nondiscrimination Statement translations, click here.

Los demás programas de asistencia nutricional del FNS, las agencias estatales y locales, y sus beneficiarios secundarios, deben publicar el siguiente Aviso de No Discriminación:

De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en ingles), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA.

Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de seas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] al (800) 877-8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas.

Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD-3027) que está disponible en linea en: y en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632-9992. Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA por:

(1)     correo: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; o

(3)     correo electró

Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.