Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Reimbursement Rates for Child Nutrition Programs 2022-2023 School Year; Non-Reimbursable Meal Prices

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Child Nutrition
Regulatory Authority
7 CFR 210.4, 210.6, 220.6, Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022
Response Required
Superintendents; Principals; General Business Managers; Child Nutrition Directors/Managers

Primary Contact Information

Memo Text

Reimbursement rates for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and Afterschool Snack Program (ASP) for school year 2022-2023 have been released. The amounts below include the increased reimbursement rates for the 2022-2023 school year including $0.40 per lunch and $0.15 per breakfast passed in the Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022. 


Regular Breakfast

Severe Need Breakfast


Safety Net Lunch

Afterschool Snack




















Severe Need Breakfast

In Arkansas, all districts operated the Seamless Summer Option (SSO), not the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), during SY 2020-2021 allowing all students to eat at the free rate.  Free and reduced meal data to qualify for severe need reimbursement is not available when administering SSO.  As a result, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided the guidance below to determine eligibility for severe need reimbursement for SY 2022-2023.

Severe need breakfast rates are approved on a by school basis.  Any school in the district that served forty percent (40%) or more lunches between August 2019- March 2020 school year at the free or reduced rate receive an additional forty-one cents ($0.41) reimbursement on all free and reduced priced breakfast served during the 2022-2023 school year. Data should only be used for months the school served free and reduced price NSLP meals. 

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 between August 2019- March 2020 school year  are designated as “Safety Net” districts and will receive two cents ($0.02) additional reimbursement for each reimbursable lunch claimed.

Performance Based Reimbursement (PBR)

The PBR is an automatic payment for those districts that have completed the meal certification process. The PBR rate is $0.08 per lunch meal served for the 2022-2023 school year. The additional PBR will be included in each 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%) of enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced price meals.  Area eligible sites will claim all afterschool snacks served at the free rate.  Schools that do not qualify for area eligibility must claim students based on their free, reduced, or paid eligibility status. Additional information may be found at CNU-23-001.

Value of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Donated Foods

The national average minimum value of USDA donated foods, or cash in lieu thereof, per lunch under the NSLP shall be $0.30 for the period July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.

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

It is recommended that school districts adjust non-reimbursable meal prices charged for participation in the NSLP or SBP by the amount of increased free reimbursement plus the USDA donated food rate for the 2022-2023 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 ($4.33 or $4.35) +
  2.  The Performance Based Reimbursement ($0.08) +
  3.  The USDA donated food rate for school lunch ($0.30)

$4.33 + $0.08 + $0.30 = $4.71 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 2022-2023 is $2.26 for regular and $2.67 for severe need breakfast.

For further information, contact the District’s Area Specialist at (501) 324-9502.

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