Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Reimbursement Rates for Child Nutrition Programs 2019-2020 School Year; Non-Reimbursable Meal Prices

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Child Nutrition
Regulatory Authority
7CFR 210.4, 210.6, 220.6 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
Response Required
Superintendents; Principals; General Business Managers; Child Nutrition Directors/Managers

Primary Contact Information

Memo Reference

No references available.

Memo Text



Reimbursement rates for the National School Lunch, Breakfast, and Afterschool Snack programs for the 2019-2020 school year are as follows:




Regular Breakfast

*Severe Need Breakfast

Regular Lunch

*Safety Net Lunch

Afterschool Snacks



















*Special Reimbursement Rates



Severe Need Breakfast


Severe need breakfast rates are approved on a by school basis.  Districts must apply each year to receive the severe need breakfast rate.  Any school in the district that served forty percent (40%) or more lunches during the 2017-2018 school year (second preceding year) at the free or reduced rate receive an additional  thirty-six cents ($.36)  reimbursement on all free and reduced priced breakfast served during the 2019-2020 school year. 


The severe need application process is complete for the 2019-2020 year.  Districts who qualify for severe need have been provided an approval letter in the emailed 2019-2020 Agreement and Policy Statement stating that they should claim breakfast meals at the severe need rate. 



Safety Net Lunch


School districts that served sixty percent (60%) or more of the total lunches to students eligible for free or reduced price meals in the second preceding school (2017-2018) are designated as “Safety Net” districts and will receive two cents ($.02) additional reimbursement for each reimbursable lunch served.  Districts approved for Safety Net is attached.



Performance Based Reimbursement (PBR)


The PBR rate of $.06 has increased to $.07 for the 2019-2020 school year. The $.07 Performance Based Reimbursement (PBR) is an automatic payment for those districts that have completed the meal certification process.  The additional PBR will be included in each monthly claim and is part of the reimbursement rates section.  When districts receive the $.07 payment, it will be reported as revenue from the Federal reimbursement monthly claim.



Afterschool Snack Area Eligible 


An afterschool snack program site is Area Eligible if it is located at a school where fifty percent (50%) percent of the enrolled children are eligible for free or reduced price meals.  Area eligible sites will claim all afterschool snacks served at the free rate.



Value of USDA Foods

The national average minimum value of donated foods, or cash in lieu thereof, per lunch under the NSLP shall be 23.75 cents for the period July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.



Non-Reimbursable Meal Prices (Adult, Contract, & Second Meals)


It is recommend that school districts adjust non-reimbursable meal prices charged for participation in the school lunch or breakfast program by the amount of increased free reimbursement plus the USDA donated food rate for the 2019-2020 school year. 


All non-reimbursable meals must be priced to cover the entire cost to produce the meal which includes food, labor, and other operating costs.   Pricing of non-reimbursable meals is monitored during the Administrative Review process. 


See the example for lunch prices below:

  1.  The current Free Reimbursement Rate ($3.41 or $3.43) +
  2.  The Performance Based Reimbursement ($.07) +
  3.  The USDA donated food rate for school lunch ($0.2375)

$3.43 + $.07 + $.2375 = $3.7375 rounded up to $3.74 per meal


The price for a non-reimbursable breakfast should be at least the amount of the free reimbursement rate.  The free reimbursement rate for 2019-2020 is $1.84 for regular and $2.20 for severe need breakfast.


If you have any questions, please contact your Area Specialist at 501-324-9502.


2019-2020 Safety Net

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