3553 BP - Free and Reduced Price Meals

Business and Noninstructional Operations
Board Policy No.  3553

Adopted August 22, 2019
Revised January 12, 2023


The Governing Board recognizes that adequate nutrition is essential to the development, health and learning of all students.  The Superintendent or designee shall facilitate and encourage the participation of students from low-income families in the district’s food service program.   

Each school day, the district shall provide, free of charge, a nutritionally adequate breakfast and lunch for any who requests a meal. (Education Code 49501.5)  

To provide optimal nutrition and ensure that schools receive maximum federal meal reimbursement, the Superintendent or designee shall assess the eligibility of district schools to operate a federal universal meal service provision, such as Provision 2 or the Community Eligibility Provision, pursuant to 42 USC 1759a.  The Superintendent or designee shall submit an application to operate a federal universal meal provision to the California Department of Education (CDE) on behalf of any district school that meets the definition of a “high poverty school.”  (Education Code 49564.3) 

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that meals served under the school nutrition program meet applicable state and/or federal nutritional standards in accordance with the law, Board policy, and administrative regulation. 

The Board shall approve and shall submit to the California Department of Education for approval, a plan that ensures that students eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals are not treated differently from other students. and that meets other requirements specified in Education Code 49557.   

Confidentiality/Release of Records 
All applications and records related to eligibility for the free or reduced price meal program shall be confidential and may not be disclosed except as provided by law and authorized by the Board or pursuant to a court order.  (Education Code 49558) 

The Board authorizes designated employees to use individual records pertaining to student eligibility for any free and reduced price meal program for the purpose of: (Education Code 49558) 

1. Disaggregation of academic achievement data
2. Identification of students eligible for services under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act pursuant to 20 USC 6301-6576
3. Facilitation of targeted educational services and supports to individual students based on the local control accountability plan

If a student transfers from the district to another district, charter school, county office of education program, or private school, the Superintendent or designee may share the student's meal eligibility information to the other educational agency in ensuring that the student continues to receive school meals. 

The Superintendent or designee may release the name and eligibility status of a student participating in the free or reduced-price meal program to another school district, charter school, or county office of education that is serving a student living in the same household for purposes related to program eligibility and data used in local control funding formula (LCFF) calculations. (Education Code 49558) 

The Superintendent or designee may release the name and eligibility status of a student participating in the  free or reduced-price meal program to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for purposes of determining  allocations under the LCFF and for assessing accountability of that funding. (Education Code 49558) 

The Superintendent or designee may release information on the school lunch program application to the 
local agency that determines eligibility for participation in the Medi-Cal program if the student has been 
approved for free meals or, if included in the agreement with the local agency, for reduced-price meals.

The Superintendent or designee also may release information on the school lunch application to the local  agency that determines eligibility for CalFresh or another nutrition assistance program authorized under 7 CFR 201.1 if the student has been approved for free or reduced-price meals. Information may be released  for these purposes only if the student's parent/guardian consents to the sharing of information and the  district has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the local agency which, at a minimum,  includes the roles and responsibilities of the district and local agency and the process for sharing the  information. After sharing information with the local agency for purposes of determining eligibility for that  program, no further information shall be shared unless otherwise authorized by law. (Education Code  49557.2, 49557.3, 49558) 

Legal Reference: 
48980 Notice at beginning of term  
49430-49436 Pupil Nutrition, Health, and Achievement Act of 2001 
49490-49494 School breakfast and lunch programs  
49500-49505 School meals  
49510-49520 Nutrition  
49530-49536 Child Nutrition Act of 1974  
49547-49548.3 Comprehensive nutrition service  
49550-49561 Meals for needy students  
15510 Mandatory meals for needy students  
15530-15535 Nutrition education  
15550-15565 School lunch and breakfast programs  
1232g Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act  
6301-6514 Title I programs  
1751-1769h School lunch program 
1771-1791 Child nutrition, especially:  
1773 School breakfast program 
210.1-210.31 National School Lunch Program  
220.10-220.21 National School Breakfast Program 
245.1-245.13 Determination of eligibility for free and reduced-price meals and free milk price meals

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