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Meal Times for Breakfast and Lunch

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

To: National School Lunch Program Sponsors
School Breakfast Program Sponsors

Number: 05-113

Attention: Food Service Director

Date: August 2005

Subject: Meal Times for Breakfast and Lunch

Reference: Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations Section 210.10(f)(1); 220.2(b): Management Bulletin 02-120, August 2002

This Management Bulletin clarifies the regulatory meal time requirements for school nutrition programs. Regulations governing the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program stipulate that breakfast and lunch be served as follows:


Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), Section 220.2(b) defines “breakfast” as a meal that is served to a child in the morning hours. The meal shall be served at or near the beginning of the child’s day at school. 


7 CFR Section 210.10(f)(1) states that schools must offer lunches during the period the school has designated as the lunch period.  Schools must offer lunches between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Exemption From the Lunch Meal Time Requirement

Under certain circumstances, the Nutrition Services Division (NSD) may grant approval to sponsors to serve lunch before 10:00 a.m. and after 2:00 p.m. Please refer to Management Bulletin 02-120, dated August 2002, for approval criteria.

If you have any questions, please contact your Nutrition Services Division representative in the Field Services Unit at 916-445-0850 or 800-952-5609.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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