School Breakfast Program

A Component of the School Nutrition Programs

What is the School Breakfast Program?

The School Breakfast Program (SBP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and non-profit private schools and residential child care institutions. The program makes it possible for all school children in the US to receive a nutritious breakfast every school day. It offers parents an affordable, convenient way to ensure their children get the nutrition they need to learn and thrive.

How does the program work?

The SBP is generally operated by public, charter, or non-profit private schools of high school grade or below. Public or non-profit private residential child care institutions (RCCIs) may also participate in SBP. School districts and independent schools that choose to participate in the Program must serve breakfast meals meeting Federal nutrition requirements, and offer free or reduced price breakfasts to all eligible children. In exchange, participating sponsors receive reimbursement for each reimbursable meal served. For current SBP reimbursement rates, click here.

Who administers the SBP?

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the Program at the Federal level. In Indiana, the SBP is administered by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and operates through agreements with school food authorities. In Indiana, public schools on the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) with a free and reduced rate of 15% or higher must operate the SBP.

What are the nutrition requirements for SBP meals?

All reimbursable school breakfasts must meet Federal nutrition requirements. This includes specific standards for sodium, calories, and fats, in addition to minimum portion sizes for fruit, whole grains, and milk. Schools are allowed to develop their own menus as long as they are meeting Federal meal pattern criteria.

What breakfast service options are available?

  • Cafeteria Service - traditional service in the school's cafeteria before the school day begins
  • Breakfast After the Bell - students receive breakfast after the school day begins
  • Second Chance Breakfast - the school usually offers the normal cafeteria breakfast before the school day begins, but opens up the breakfast sales later in the morning for those that missed the first breakfast
  • Breakfast in the Classroom - students receive their breakfast to eat
  • Grab & Go Breakfast - serves students a breakfast “to go,” often in a paper or plastic bag, before school or during a morning break


Allie Caito-Sipe

School Nutrition Specialist

Visit the IDOE School Breakfast Program webpage.