Federal Child Nutrition Programs
Full Plates believes that maximizing federal child nutrition programs is one of the best strategies to end childhood food insecurity in Maine. Click on a program to learn more and find resources and best practices to strengthen these programs.
Farm to School
The Local Advocacy Tools & Templates are customizable presentation documents to help you effectively educate your community about the finances and operations of your School Nutrition Department and advocate for more support.
School meal programs as we know them today have a long history. Non-profit school meal organizing started in the 1890s and has incorporated many models of community care, often rooted in feminist and anti-racist organizing. View a brief timeline of the history of school meals, inspired by Jennifer Gaddis’ book The Labor of Lunch.
Maine students are among the first in the nation to have equal access to school meals. View these Frequently Asked Questions about how the School Meals for All law impacts school meal programs.
Even though school meals are now free for all Maine students, families still need to fill out and return School Meal Benefit Forms to determine eligibility for extra grocery benefits and funding for their school. We need your help spreading the word!
Use the materials in our ready-to-use and customizable toolkits to get the word out to families in your community that filling out a School Meal Benefit Form is more important than ever.
CEP allows schools in high-poverty areas to serve free breakfast and lunch to all students. Schools are CEP-eligible if their identified student percentage (ISP), the percentage of students directly certified for free meals, is at least 40%.
Special Provision 2 is a four-year program that allows any school to serve universal free breakfast and lunch for 3 years while only collecting school meal benefit applications for the first year.
Learn more on the Maine DOE website or contact Child Nutrition Specialist David Hartley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eligible kids who fill out a School Meal Benefit Form can receive P-EBT benefits for extra help on groceries. Check out our P-EBT Quick Facts or visit the Maine DHHS website for information about this program and eligibility criteria.
The Let’s Go! program supports schools in improving the health and well-being of their community. Visit the Let’s Go! website to learn about how this partnership opportunity can support school nutrition programs and foster healthy environments throughout your school.
Schools and childcare centers that participate in federal child nutrition programs can order print versions of USDA Team Nutrition materials. Note that they can take 2-4 weeks to ship.
Make sure to check out this database of child nutrition resources submitted by program operators!
Connect With Us
With six decades of combined experience in school food service, our child nutrition consultants Chris and Lynnette have since retired and are passionate about helping current meal providers navigate child nutrition programs. They are eager to connect you to resources, troubleshoot problems or concerns, and provide on-the-ground support to improve program effectiveness and sustainability. Use the form below or email them at email@example.com to get in touch!