Tennessee's School Nutrition program is responsible for providing nutritious meals and snacks for students in public and private schools and 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.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act has aligned school meals with the latest nutrition science and the real-world circumstances in America's schools.
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 nutrition 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.
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.