Child Nutrition Programs Challenged to Meet Nutrition Standards, Maintain Participation, and Remain Solvent (October 2011)

The viability of Child Nutrition Programs operated by North Carolina’s 115 school districts depends on a delicate balance of cost, nutritional value, and student participation. Despite federal reimbursements for school meals, on average schools lose money on each meal sold and must generate revenue to cover costs. Indirect costs may threaten program solvency, and there are no formal guidelines for their assessment at the local level. Thirty-two other states provide supplemental funding beyond the required state-federal match to alleviate financial pressure and promote higher quality meals. The General Assembly should consider limiting indirect cost assessment and supporting the North Carolina Procurement Alliance.

Final Report

Executive Summary


Relevant Legislation:

  • S.L. 2013-235: Prohibited local school administrative units from assessing indirect costs to a child nutrition program unless the program is financially solvent and promoted optimal pricing for child nutrition program foods and supplies.