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Welcome to the Nutrition ​Department.  This department supports and promotes the overall wellbeing of children.  Healthy meals and healthy habits are essential for readiness to learn and success in the classroom and beyond.

Programs administered by the department ​include the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and the Special Milk Program.


COVID-19 and Non-Congregate USDA Reimbursable Meal Options

Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and/or School Breakfast Program (SBP) and institutions participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) that may be/are dismissed or closed due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) are encouraged to continue to provide meals to their students. Under these circumstances, school food authorities (SFAs) and other eligible community organizations (COs) may continue to serve meals to children affected by school or child care closures through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO).

Sponsors could implement alternative distributive methods to provide reimbursable meals to students/children during unanticipated school closures, distance and/or e-learning school days, and any other situation in which students are not physically present at school in relation to COVID-19.

The Illinois State Board of Education has received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to waive the congregate feeding requirement, which will provide flexibility to SFAs and COs to distribute meals in affected communities. SFAs are encouraged to apply in advance of a COVID-19 school dismissal. To apply, schools complete a simple form, the Unanticipated School Closure Non-Congregate Meal FormPDF Document, and submit to ISBE at cnp@isbe.net. This form allows the SFA to detail their locally developed plans to ensure program meal content, counts, and food safety are in compliance.

ISBE has prepared a Child Nutrition Program Meal Service During COVID-19 Outbreak Q&As documentPDF Document. For the most current information on this situation, please monitor ISBE’s COVID-19 resource page.

Quick Links

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 FormPDF Document, (AD-3027) found online at https://www.ascr.usda.gov/how-file-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:program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

 Public Notice(s)

The Illinois State Board of Education Nutrition Department submitted a waiver request​ to the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking for the ability to reimburse all Unanticipated School Closure Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) meals at the self-preparation or rural per meal rates for all Child Nutrition Program (CNP) Sponsors approved in SFSP to continue to serve meals during the COVID-19 outbreak.


The Illinois State Board of Education Nutrition Department submitted a waiver requestPDF Document to the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking to temporarily suspend area eligibility requirements (50% free and reduced eligibility) SFAs operating the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) or Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) through June 30, 2020.​


The Illinois State Board of Education Nutrition Department submitted a waiver request​PDF Document limited to the Bloomington Normal Boys and Girls Club operation as At-Risk Afterschool centers under Day Care Resources.


​On Oct. 11, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued Memo SFSP 01-2019. In response to this memo, ISBE requested that the USDA approve the following state-requested waivers:

  • 1st Week Site Review Waiver: To allow sponsors to request that the state waive the first week site review for their sites.
  • 1st Week Site Review Waiver for School Food Authorities (SFA): To allow SFA sponsors in good standing to request that the state waive the first week site reviews.
  • Closed Enrolled Site Waiver: To allow sponsors to utilize area eligibility at these sites, if applicable.
  • Meal Time Restrictions Waiver: To allow sponsors to have meal time flexibility, but still require 30 minutes between meal services.
  • Offer vs. Serve Waiver: To allow any sponsor to request the use of Offer vs. Serve and to allow the sponsor to utilize the SFSP meal pattern for Offer vs. Serve.

On Nov. 5, 2019, U.S. Department of Agriculture issued Memo SFSP 03-2020. In response to this memo, ISBE is requesting that the USDA approve the following state-requested waiver:

  • Unanticipated School Closure Waiver: To allow SFA sponsors of SFSP and SSO to serve meals within their school buildings during unanticipated school closures.  APPROVED

As a result of these waivers, the application and approval process for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors will be expedited.  Unnecessary administrative burden along with excessive paperwork will be eliminated for the state agency and sponsor. Information regarding the approval or denial of these waiver requests will be posted here and will be provided to all sponsors via email once the USDA makes the determination.​​​​​​​

On March 6, 2020, U.S. Department of Agriculture issued Memo SP 08-2020, SFSP 04-2020.  In response to this memo, ISBE is requesting that the USDA approve the following state-requested waiver:


The Illinois State Board of Education Nutrition Division submitted a waiver request for Administrative Review cycle FY 2020 through FY 2022​PDF Document to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ISBE would like to extend the review cycle from 3 years to 5 years through FY 2024.​ (Oct. 2, 2019, addendum​PDF Document)​​​​​​​​​

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