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Free Meals & Federal Meal Program

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Chicken Lunch
School meals are healthy


SVUSD Child Nutrition and Compliance with NSLP and SBP Meal Pattern Requirements

The Child Nutrition Department is very happy to continue serving free meals for the 2023-2024 School Year under the California Universal Meal Program! We are also thrilled to see so many new faces coming through our lines and hope to see many more in the days to come. We strive to not only meet, but exceed the guidelines of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Below is a quick refresher on the State and Federal guidelines SVUSD must follow when providing lunches to our kids. This information can also be found in full on the California Department of Education's website you can also find the meal pattern requirements here. More information about Universal Meals can be found here.

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Every meal we serve must include at least three basic components in separate food groups, with at least one of them being a fruit or veggie. Most entrees include the protein and grain requirements and we always offer a variety of fruits and veggies that your student can pick from. Milk completes the meal and we always offer a choice of fat free chocolate or lowfat regular milk. 

For a meal to be free, a student must take at least three different items offered, one of which must be a fruit or vegetable. This can include:

  • An entree, grain, vegetable, fruit and milk
  • An entree, fruit or veggie, grain and milk
  • An entree, fruit or veggie and milk
  • An entree, fruit and veggie


  • A veggie, a fruit and milk

In order to provide a free meal, at least three of the components for that meal must be included. If a student only wants one thing, that item alone does not make a meal so we encourage that student to take more items that they may want. Milk alone is only one component, so if a student comes through the line and wants only a milk, they can take a fruit and a veggie with it to make up a free meal.

We love feeding our kids and making sure we meet all their nutritional needs! 

For more information and interactive ways to learn about balanced meal choices, please visit 

Please check out our menus to see all the different meal components we serve. We offer a variety of fruits and veggies daily to encourage our students to try new things and a few tried and true standbys to keep all our students eating well and ready to learn. 

We look forward to seeing your kids in the lunch line!

Complete Lunch

One breakfast and lunch per day will be available to all SVUSD students at no charge for the 2023-2024 school year through the California Universal Meal Program. Even if your child qualified for reduced-price meals or did not qualify for free or reduced through the NSLP program, your student can still get a free breakfast and lunch daily. At no point will your child be asked to pay for their meal unless they have already received a free one for the day and are returning for seconds, or are taking singular items as a la carte. Free meals can only be served if they follow the guidelines listed above.

Single cartons of milk and bottles of water are sold at our Elementary Schools, and a variety of a-la-carte items are also offered daily during breakfast and lunch at our Secondary Schools. These items are not included in the free meals for 2023-2024. Any student who wishes to purchase a-la-carte items must either bring money to purchase the items, or have money in their lunch account. No student will be charged into the negative for a-la-carte items or second meals.


About the National School Lunch Program

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946.

Free, reduced and full paid meals are served using an automated accounting system that protects the privacy of all students.

Participation may also qualify your household for discounts on after school care, some utilities, and AP and SAT/PSAT testing.

Applications are valid for one school year and carry over for the first 30 operating days of the next. Applications must be submitted every year if you wish for your student to remain on the program. Eligibility may be determined by household income or participation in other programs such as CalWORKS, CalFRESH or Medi-CAL. Applications can be filled out online or paper applications can always be obtained from your student's school office. Applications may take up to 10 business days to process. Notification of eligibility is sent via US mail.

Eligibility letters are mailed when the application is processed, but if the original copy is misplaced, a copy of your student's current eligibility can be obtained by emailing TL Mikulus at or by calling (805) 306-4500, Extension 4702. Copies can be emailed to the parent/guardian requesting the letter. Students may not make the request in place of the parent or guardian. For confidentiality, no copies of eligibility letters will be sent directly to students or staff. 

If you have questions about applying for the NSLP program or have already applied and have questions about your household's eligibility, please call (805) 306-4500, Extension 4702.

**Application for the federal National School Lunch Program for Free or Reduced Price Lunches is not required to qualify for the California Universal Meal Program. If you do not wish to disclose income information or elect not to fill out an application for any reason, your child may still eat free breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria daily.**

Click for more information on the California Universal Meals Program.

National School Lunch Program Online Application for Free or Reduced Priced School Meals

SVUSD Meal Charge Policy (PDF)

Politica de cargo de comida (PDF)

National School Lunch Program Eligibility

School Year 2023-2024 NSLP Eligibility Media Release (PDF)  

Elegibilidad NSLP Año escolar 2023-2024 Comunicado de prensa (PDF)

Community Eligibility Provision Press Release 2023-2024 (PDF)

Comunicado de prensa de la Disposición de Elegibilidad Comunitaria 2023-2024 (PDF)

Earned Income Tax Credit Information Act Communication

Notice: The California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 19853(b) requires local educational agencies that operate the National School Lunch Program to annually notify households about the Earned Income Tax Credit Information Act.

Earned Income Tax Credit Information Act Communication (PDF)


Aviso: La Sección 19853 (b) del Código de Ingresos e Impuestos de California requiere que las agencias educativas locales que operan el Programa Nacional de Almuerzos Escolares notifiquen anualmente a los hogares sobre la Ley de Información del Crédito Tributario por Ingreso del Trabajo.

Ley de Información del Crédito Tributario por Ingreso del Trabajo (PDF)

Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted 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; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.