The Chesapeake Public Schools Department of School Nutrition Services provides healthy and nutritionally balanced free and low-cost meals to more than 8,300 students at breakfast and more than 14,900 students at lunch each school day. Breakfast and lunch meals are served under the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National School Breakfast (SBP) and National School Lunch Programs (NSLP).
In 1998, Congress expanded the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to include assistance for snacks served to children in after-school educational and enrichment programs. Under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), at-risk students in nine Chesapeake schools were served more than 40,000 supper meals and more than 35,000 snacks in 2018-2019. School Nutrition Services also participates in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) serving healthy and nutritious breakfast and lunch meals in summer school sites and community sites including churches, daycare centers, YMCA programs, Boys & Girls Club programs, libraries, and community centers.
School meals must meet specific meal patterns for the appropriate age group(s) based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. School lunch provides approximately one-third of the daily nutrition needs for children and school breakfast provides approximately one-fourth. In addition to standards for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and milk, regulations establish standards for the number of calories, fat, and sodium provided by school meals. Although meals must meet Federal nutrition requirements, school divisions make decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared.
The National School Lunch Act in 1946 created the modern school lunch program. Schools across the nation serve more than 29 million children each school day. Federal laws regulating Child Nutrition Programs to are administered under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Virginia Department of Education’s Office (VDOE) of School Nutrition. School Nutrition Services provides healthy and nutritious meals students enjoy eating at a price all students can afford. We also strive to promote student and community wellness through nutrition education while serving as intricate stakeholders in the educational mission of our school district as we Inspire, Engage, and Empower our students.
We encourage each household to apply for meal benefits and to discover the benefits of school meals. To apply online, please visit the Free and Reduced Meal Application webpage. We also invite you to contact our department’s key staff members with your comments or questions at 547-1470 or by e-mail.