Tennessee's School Nutrition program is responsible for providing nutritious meals and snacks for students in public and private schools, as well as residential and child care institutions. School Nutrition administers the USDA's National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Afterschool Snack Program across the state. All public schools in Tennessee are on the National School Lunch Program, which provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day.
Nutrition standards set forth by the USDA require most schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in meals; and meet the nutritional needs of school children within their calorie requirements.
For a detailed description of these federal requirements, see the Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.
Community Eligibility Provision
For information on CEP, including a toolkit for districts and frequently asked questions, visit the CEP page.
Important contact information:
- The Department of Education COVID-19 hotline is available for district leaders 629-888-5898 or toll free 833-947-2115. The hotline is available Monday-Friday 6:30am-4:30pm CT. Or, email: K12.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For nutrition program-specific questions, contact the Department’s Nutrition hotline number at 800-354-3663. It is available daily from 7:00am to 4:30pm CT. Or, email School.Nutrition@tn.gov.
- Tennessee Department of Health has launched a Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line in partnership with the Tennessee Poison Center. The hotline number is 877-857-2945 and will be available from 10am to 10pm CT daily.
- The Department of Education has disseminated guidance to district leaders to best support their students, schools, and communities. For more information, please visit this website.
Current waivers effective to allow flexibilities for the 2020-21 school year under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program, Seamless Summer Option (SSO), and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) include:
- Nationwide waiver that allows Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and SSO to operate through June 30, 2021
- Non-congregate feeding in SFSP/SSO through June 30, 2021
- Non-congregate feeding in Child Nutrition Programs through September 30, 2021
- Parent and guardian pickup flexibilities good through June 30, 2022
- Parent and guardian pick up flexibilities good through September 30, 2020
- This may be implemented if SFAs are operating under the non-congregate feeding waiver. If implemented SFAs must have plans in place to ensure accountability and program integrity. The plan to implement this flexibility must be submitted to the state director using this form.
- Meal pattern requirement flexibilities good through June 30, 2021
- Meal pattern requirement flexibilities good through June 30, 2022
- Nationwide waiver to allow meal pattern flexibility in SFSP/SSO through June 30, 2021
- Nationwide waiver to allow meal pattern flexibility in NSLP/SSO through September 30, 2021
- This flexibility for NSLP and SSO will be addressed on a case by case basis and SFAs must contact the state director with any requests on the designated form.
- Meal time requirements have been waived through June 30, 2021
- Offer vs Serve flexibility for senior high schools operating NSLP good through June 30, 2021
- Nationwide waiver to allow Offer vs Serve flexibilities in SFSP good through September 30, 2021
- Nationwide waiver to extend area eligibility through September 30, 2021
- Nationwide waiver to waive first week site visits in SFSP effective through September 30, 2021
- FFVP: Alternative pick-up/serving sites due to school closures effective through June 30, 2021
- Nationwide waive to allow reimbursement for meals served prior to flexibility notification effective through June 30, 2021
For more information related to waivers Tennessee has on file with USDA please visit this website: https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19/tennessee.
New School Food Authority/Local Education Agency Process Chart
The chart below is meant to guide the process for new school food authorities (SFAs) to prepare their site(s) for the 2019-20 school year.
|Process Step||Required Forms and Topics||Due Date|
|Step 1: Contact the state agency (SA) to express interest in school nutrition programs.||Review the required information by reviewing the chart.||Jan. 31|
|Step 2: Go to the Tennessee Meals Counting and Claiming homepage and select the "Interested in Applying?" link.||Complete the prescreening questionnaire with SA with this link.||Feb. 15|
|Step 3: Complete mandatory phone appointment with SA. The call can include the school nutrition supervisor and the director of schools. The Tennessee Department of Education's School Nutrition Hotline can be reached at (800) 354-3663. Send in W-9 and Automated Clearing House (ACH) form.||Program requirements:
|Step 4: Complete mandatory first site visit with SA.||March 15|
|Step 5: Submit the vended meal contract draft to SA for review and approval.
(Only applies to vended meal service)
|Vended meal contract prototype located at https://www.tn.gov/education/snp-resources/snp-forms.html. This is located under "Vended School Meal Service Prototype Invitation for Bid."||Feb. 15-March 15|
|Step 6: After SA approves the vended meal contract, the SFA will advertise the bid.
(Only applies to vended meal service)
|Send to SA for approval:
|Step 7: Submit Pre-contract Award Summary Sheet and documents to SA.
(Only applies to vended meal service)
|Step 8: Attend mandatory meeting with SA at the school nutrition office. SA will arrange the meeting by May 31. Meeting will be held at: Andrew Johnson Tower, 710 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville, TN 37243.||Topics to be discussed:
|Step 9: Submit Post-contract Award Summary Sheet and documents to SA.
(Only applies to vended meal Service)
|Step 10: Submit Certification of Compliance worksheets to SA for approval.||
|Step 11: Complete mandatory second site visit with SA.||
*If the potential SFA starts school after the listed date, the mandatory site visit must take place during the first week of operation.
If the potential SFA fails to file any of the above forms by July 31, the SFA may not be approved to operate the National School Lunch Program for the upcoming school year.
The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, as amended by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), requires a unified accountability system designed to ensure that participating school food authorities (SFAs) comply with National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) requirements. The Act also requires an accountability system that conducts Administrative Reviews to evaluate Program requirements for NSLP and SBP during a three-year cycle. A summary from each district's most recent administrative review can be found below.
- Academy for G.O.D
- Alamo City
- Alcoa City
- Alcy Academy
- Anderson County
- Aspire Charter Schools
- Athens City
- Bartlett City
- Bedford County
- Believe Memphis
- Bells City
- Benton County
- Bledsoe County
- Bradford SSD
- Bradley County
- Brinkley Heights Urban Academy
- Campbell County
- Cannon County
- Catholic Schools of Memphis
- Chattanooga Charter School Of Excellence (CCSE)
- Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy
- Cheatham County
- Chester County
- Circles of Success Learning Academy
- Claiborne County
- Clay County
- Clinton City
- Coffee County
- Collierville Municipal School District
- Creative Life Preparatory School
- Crockett County
- Cumberland County
- Dayton City
- Davidson County
- Decatur County
- Dickson County
- Dyer County
- Elizabethton City
- Etowah City
- Explore Community School
- Fayette County
- Fayetteville City
- Fentress County
- Florence Crittenton Agency
- Franklin County
- Free Will Baptist Ministries
- Frontier Health
- Genesis Learning Centers
- Germantown Municipal Schools
- Gestalt Community Schools
- Gibson SSD
- Giles County
- Grainger County
- Greater Praise Christian Academy
- Greene County
- Greeneville City
- Grundy County
- Hamilton County
- Hancock County
- Hardeman County
- Hardin County
- Haywood County
- Helen Ross McNabb-Gateway Center
- Henderson County
- Henry County
- Hickman County
- Hollow Rock Bruceton
- Houston County
- Humboldt City
- Humphreys County
- Huntingdon SSD
- Intrepid College Prep
- Jefferson County
- Johnson City
- Johnson County
- King's Daughters School
- KIPP Antioch College Prep Elementary School
- Kipp Memphis
- KIPP Nashville
- Knowledge Academies
- Knox County
- Lake County
- Lakeway Christian Schools
- Lawrence County
- Lebanon SSD
- Lenoir City Schools
- Lewis County
- Lexington City
- Lincoln County
- Loudon County
- Macon County
- Manchester City
- Marion County
- Maryville City
- Marshall County
- Maury County
- McKenzie SSD
- McMinn County
- McNairy County
- Meigs County
- Memphis Academy of Health Sciences
- Memphis Delta Prep
- Memphis Rise Academy
- Milan SSD
- Monroe County
- Montgomery County
- Morgan County
- Murfreesboro County
- New Hope Academy - Franklin
- New Hope Christian Academy - Memphis
- New Vision Academy
- Newport City
- Oak Ridge City
- Oneida SSD
- Overton County
- Paris SSD
- Perea Elementary
- Perry County
- Pickett County
- Polk County
- Porter Leath
- Purpose Preparatory
- Putnam County
- Rhea County
- Richard City
- Robertson County
- Rogersville City
- Rutherford County
- Sacred Heart School - Lawrenceburg
- Scott County
- Sequatchie County
- Sevier County
- Shelby County
- Smith County
- Smithson-Craighead Academy
- South Carroll SSD
- St. Clement Christian Academy
- Stewart County
- St. Michael School
- Strive Collegiate Academy
- Sullivan County
- Sumner County
- Tennessee School for the Blind
- Tennessee School for the Deaf
- Trenton SSD
- Trousdale County
- Tullahoma City
- Unicoi County
- Union City
- Valor Collegiate
- Van Buren
- Washington County
- Warren County
- Wayne County
- Weakley County
- West Carroll
- West Tennessee School for the Deaf
- White County
- Williamson County
- Word of Faith Christian Academy
School nutrition programs are an economical way to provide a significant amount of the student's daily nutritional requirements.
Good nutrition increases students willingness and ability to learn.
Nutrition is an integral part of education, contributing substantially to the health and well-being of students.
For the Local Economy
School nutrition programs act as a vast market for locally purchased foods, supplies, and equipment, as well as providing additional jobs in the community.
School nutrition programs utilize available commodities in the lunch and breakfast meals.
Each school year, millions of meals are served across the state through the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. In order to highlight the hard work school nutrition professionals put forth to provide nutritious meals to all students, we have compiled the number of meals served from last school year. Please take a moment to see how many school meals were served across the state for the 2019-2020 school year per School Food Authority. The data is broken down to show school lunches and school breakfasts, respectively. Also, districts that operate Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) either district-wide, or operate CEP in specific schools within the district have been noted within the chart.
Many schools and districts in Tennessee participate in the state's Local Foods for Local Schools program, partnering with the community's local food producers to serve locally grown foods in school cafeterias.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: https://www.usda.gov/oascr/how-to-file-a-program-discrimination-complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter 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;
2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or
3. email: email@example.com.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.