School Meals in North Carolina

School meals in North Carolina are offered mainly through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

The North Carolina school meals programs make nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free meals available to school children each school day in the year.

School meals nutritional standards are based on the recommendation from the Institute of Medicine and the U.S. Government and teachers have reported that students perform better in class if they get regular meals.

Children getting school breakfast also had significantly reduced absence and tardiness rates, according to a Tufts University study.

North Carolina School Lunch Program | North Carolina School Breakfast Program


Special Milk Program in North Carolina

North Carolina Special Milk Program offers milk to children in schools, childcare institutions, and eligible camps. Any child in a school or institution that participates in the Special Milk Program can get milk.

Schools may elect to offer free milk to low-income children. In order to qualify for North Carolina Special Milk, the child must be a resident of the State of North Carolina.

North Carolina Special Milk Program


Summer Food Program in North Carolina

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is another North Carolina food assistance program that provides free meals and snacks to help low-income North Carolina children get nutritious meals in the summertime.

The Summer Food Service Program is a federal program that provides grants to local sponsors who want to combine a food service with a summer activity program.

The funding provided by SFSP ensures that North Carolina children in low-income areas continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations when they do not have access to school lunch or breakfast.

North Carolina Summer Food Service Program


Senior Nutrition in North Carolina

North Carolina Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides low-income seniors with special checks to buy fresh, nutritious fruits, vegetables, and herbs from authorized farmers’ markets. To qualify for North Carolina senior nutrition special checks, the applicants must be 60 years of age or older and their gross household income must not exceed certain limits.

An application must be completed for each person in the household that wants to apply for the SFMNP benefits. Once approved, each beneficiary must reapply every year to continue participating in the North Carolina Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. Learn more about how the senior nutrition program works.

North Carolina Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program

Sources: State Agencies, FNS, USDA