Federal Reimbursement

The USDA provides reimbursement for each complete breakfast served to students based on their eligibility for free, reduced price, and full price meals. Payment categories are established by annual school meal applications and direct certification. Some schools receive a higher per meal "severe need" reimbursement due to the concentration of poverty among their student body. A school qualifies for federal severe need reimbursement if 40% of the lunches served two years prior were free or reduced price meals. School nutrition directors do not need to submit documentation of breakfast costs to receive this reimbursement. Instead, they can check off a box next to each severe need school listed on their reimbursement claim in order to indicate eligibility for the additional reimbursement. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) confirms eligibility status.

The federal reimbursement rates are adjusted every July for the following school year. Rates for the 2017-2018 school year are as follows:

Payment Category Non-Severe Need Severe Need
Paid $0.30 $0.30
Reduced Price $1.45 $1.79
Free $1.75 $2.09