National School Lunch and National School Breakfast Programs (NSLP and NSBP)
The CNMI Public School System Child Nutrition Program operates the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) under a block grant funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. Included under the CNP program are the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs which serve approximately 14,000 meals each day to almost 11,000 public school and Head Start students. Additionally, forty-four private schools and day care programs avail of the meal services.
Six catering companies are contracted to provide meals to the students on Saipan, Tinian and Rota. The menus are formulated following USDA guidelines for nutritional content and were designed by our PSS Nutritionist in collaboration with the six food vendors.
All data presented on our school meals program has been reviewed and approved by the PSS and is audited annually.
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) in CNMI Public Schools begins August 15, 2018
The Child Nutrition Program (CNP) is pleased to inform you that the CNMI Public School System will be implementing the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) while participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs during School Year 2018-2019.
What does this mean for children attending CNMI public school(s)?
All students enrolled and attending CNMI public schools are eligible to receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at school at no charge to your household each day of the 2018-19 school year. Your child (ren) will be able to participate in these meal programs without having to pay a fee or submit a meal application. CEP applies to meals served at public schools only. Each student is allowed one free breakfast meal and one free lunch meal each school day while attending any of the 20 CNMI public schools on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
What does this mean for children attending private school(s) or day care centers?
The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) does not apply to students attending private schools and day care centers. In order for children attending these institutions to qualify for free school meals, the families must submit completed free meal applications and be determined eligible by the Child Nutrition Program.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Q1: One of my children attends public school and the other attends preschool at a day care center. Does my family have to submit an application for free meals?
A1: The student eating meals at public school does not require an approved application to avail of free school meals. The child attending the day care center is not eligible for free school meals without a free meal application approved by CNP. Make sure to include all household members on the application, including the students attending public schools. CEP benefits are not based on households, but on attendance at a CNMI public school. CNMI PSS CEP benefits do not transfer to children attending private schools and day care centers.
Q2: My son attends a day care center in the morning and goes to kindergarten in the afternoon at a public school. Does my family have to submit an application for free meals?
A2: Your son can eat lunch without charge at the public school. He is not eligible for free breakfast meals served at the day care without a free meal application approved by CNP. Free meal applications are available at the Child Nutrition Program office, House 1251 Capital Hill Road. Applications are also available on the PSS website ( www.cnmipss.org/child-nutrition-program/ ).
Q3: My daughter brings her lunch to school each day and only wants a milk or bottled water and not a full meal from the cafeteria. Since all the kids eat for free can she just take a bottled water and not a full meal?
A3: No. USDA guidelines specifically state that a meal is a complete unit, is priced as a unit, and must be served as a unit. If a student only wants a bottle of water, that can be purchased a la carte in the cafeteria. All no-cost meals must follow USDA meal patterns. The goal of the school meals program is to provide well-balanced and nutritious meals to students. A la carte is always available, and individual items like bottled water, chocolate milk, and fruit juice must be purchased. Drinking water is provided free of charge from dispensers located in every public school cafeteria.
Summary of CNMI PSS Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Specifics:
- CEP benefits only apply to meals served at CNMI public schools
- Each student is eligible to take one free breakfast and one free lunch each school day
- As of now, CEP benefits do not apply to meals served in day care centers and private schools.
- Free meals are served as a unit. A la carte items must be purchased separately