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School Nutrition Incentive Program

On July 20, 2007, legislation was enacted to change the School Code for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to provide a supplemental state reimbursement for each breakfast and lunch served as part of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

Known as the School Nutrition Incentive Program, it applies to all schools that adopt and implement, as part of their wellness policy, the Department of Education’s nutrition standards for food and beverages available on each school campus.

  • The School Nutrition Incentive provides additional financial support for schools investing in the long-term nutritional health of their school aged children.
  • A supplemental state reimbursement is provided for each breakfast and lunch served through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs in schools that implement PDE’s Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods in Pennsylvania Schools (PDF, Updated 7/2008)
  • Local Education Agency’s must amend their Local Wellness Policy to include PDE’s Nutrition Standards (PDF).
  • All schools receiving the School Nutrition Incentive reimbursement rate must implement, at a minimum, Year One of PDE’s Nutrition Standards (PDF) in School Year 2007-08 and, at a minimum, Year Two of PDE’s Nutrition Standards by the beginning of School Year 2008-09 and each year thereafter.
  • Pennsylvania schools will be leaders in promoting healthy school nutrition environments.

Revision to 2008-09 Nutritional Standards for Competitive Foods Memo (PDF, 8/2008)

Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods in Pennsylvania Schools (PDF, 7/2008)

Instructions for Completing the Local Wellness Policy Amendment Form (PDF, 7/2008)

Local Welllness Policy Amendment Form (PDF, 11/2009)

Nutrition Standards Fact Sheet for Parents (PDF, 8/2008)

School Nutrition Incentive FAQ (PDF, 8/2008)

Nutrition Standards Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 9/2008)


PDE Nutrition Standards for Classroom and Holiday Parties (PDF)

For Food Service Professionals

PDE Nutrition Standards for Classroom and Holiday Parties (PDF)

For Parents

Healthy School Snacks (PDF)

High Fiber Snacks (PDF)

“Cooks for Kids” is a series of half-hour training programs for food service professionals that can be viewed via computer using the link above. A new topic is presented monthly from September 2007 through May 2008. Each episode focuses on food and cooking techniques at school, in restaurants and at home--providing an integrated look at a child’s total food experience. Downloadable materials for food service professional use and for food service professionals to provide to parents are available.

Iowa State University Extension “Pick a Better Snack and Act” Campaign was developed to encourage children to make balanced food choices. It includes lessons, activities and a multi-media social marketing campaign. All materials are available at no cost online.

USDA Food & Nutrition Service Eat Smart. Play Hard™ campaign encourages school-aged children (appropriate for elementary and middle school students) to eat healthy and engage in movement. Camera-ready graphics of “Power Panther” in a variety of poses are designed to motivate behavioral change. Visit online town where nutrition emails can be sent from a virtual post office, the virtual library features classroom-adaptable food experiments and one can visit Eat Smart Grill and build a healthy meal and print out user-friendly recipes.

Strategies designed to motivate and empower students to increase consumption and enjoyment of a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, including How to Grow Healthy Students educator newsletter and tools to implement a Harvest of the Month program in your school.

University of Nebraska at Lincoln Let's Play "FOOD"Ball! PowerPoint and Handouts, that, according to the program designer, are appropriate for pre-K through high school seniors.

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture agricultural resource library containing lesson plans, teaching tools, hands-on learning opportunities, project ideas, speaking resources and more.

MyPyramid-USDA reaches out to elementary school students with nutrition games and to older students with a diet and exercise analysis program that features tips to eat more plant foods and build exercise into the day.

Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice in Schools! DVD and manual download

Tools for Schools offers downloadable materials and helpful resources for food service directors, teachers and others involved in school wellness planning centered on increasing high-calcium foods. Sign up for dairy nutrition news, fast facts, free consumer tools, expert nutrition advice and information on updated dairy nutrition resources by emails. Nutrition Explorations website provides activities for younger ages.

TAKE 10! is an innovative curriculum tool created by teachers for teachers and students grades K–5 that integrates academic learning objectives with movement. Program is designed to reduce sedentary time and capitalize on a child’s natural desire to be active.

The Michigan Team Nutrition Booklist can be used to create enthusiasm for learning about and tasting new fruits and vegetables, teach children about the food, food customs, and physical activity habits of others around the world and integrate nutrition and physical activity education into core subjects.

USDA’s Healthy School Nutrition Environments initiative, explains what a healthy school nutrition environment is, and provides ordering information for the “Changing the Scene” kit.

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For additional information, please contact:

Evelyn C. Arnold, RD, LDN | Nutrition Consultant
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Division of Food and Nutrition
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.8385
earnold@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us