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Iowa’s National School Breakfast and Lunch Program

What You Need To Know

Iowa’s National school breakfast and lunch program provides nutritious and healthy breakfasts and lunches to the school children at extremely reasonable costs. This program is funded federally to assist schools in order to provide cheap or even free meals at the schools. Approximately, more than 72000 schools are currently offering affordable breakfasts at their institutes, and around 92000 schools offer lunch to the students throughout the country. In addition, few educational institutes also provide a mid-day or evening snack as a part of their after school program. The meals provided must strictly meet the nutrient and dietary requirements of the children as well as ensuring the quality of meals. The ultimate goal of Iowa’s National school breakfast and lunch program is to reduce the burden on low-income families by providing meals to their school-going children.

Who Administers The Program?

The National school breakfast and lunch program is overseen mutually by the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Federal Nutrition Service (FNS) throughout the country. In Iowa particularly the program is funded and administered by, Bureau of Nutrition Program and Health Services.

Benefits of Participation


Iowa’s National school breakfast and lunch program offers a diverse array of benefits for children, their guardians and educational institutes alike. As far as children are concerned, the National breakfast and lunch program provides a nutrient and calorie-rich meal that fulfills approximately one-third of a child’s daily recommended dietary requirements.

For guardians, the program provides them the opportunity to provide nutritious yet affordable lunches to their children, thus reducing the financial burden on the parents. As far as schools go, providing a balanced meal plan to their students can significantly improve cognitive, physical and mental functioning, thus improving academic performance at whole. Research has backed the importance of a nutritious diet in reducing disciplinary and attendance issues in primary and secondary children.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for Iowa’s National School breakfast and lunch program, the child must have been enrolled in an educational institute; currently receiving an education (up till high school or under). Enrollment in the program and the acquisition of subsidized and low-cost meal plan is reserved for children and families that meet the specified yearly income and household standards set up by the FNS department and Iowa’s department of education. In addition, the family and child opting for the program must be a permanent and a legal resident of the state of Iowa. Moreover, Agencies and staff members reserve the right to opt any child accordingly for the program, by verifying resources of their parents as well as dismissing anyone from the program; thus, ensuring the resources to be delivered to the most deserving students only.

In order to verify eligibility for Iowa’s National breakfast and lunch program, one must refer to the criteria of maximum income per year according to the family size set up by the FNS department, as shown below:

Size Of The Household Maximum Annual Income Level ($)
1 $22,459
2 $30,451
3 $38,443
4 $46,435
5 $54,427
6 $62,419
7 $70,411
8 $78,403


For Further Information

For further details regarding Iowa’s School Breakfast Program, kindly visit the Iowa School Breakfast Program webpage.

In case of further inquiry regarding Iowa’s School Lunch Program, kindly, visit the Iowa School Lunch Program webpage.

You may also call the representative at The Bureau of Food and Nutrition to get further details regarding the program at- 515-281-4754




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