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Adults Participation in the NSLP

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors

Number: 02-122

Attention: Food Service Director

Date: September 2002

Subject: Adults Participating in the National School Lunch Program

Reference: School Programs Policy Memo 02-10; Food and Nutrition Service Instruction 776-7; Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), Part 210.2

This Management Bulletin provides the eligibility criteria for adults to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and clarifies when adults in the Even Start Literacy Program (Even Start) are eligible to participate in the NSLP.

Federal regulations and guidance stipulate that adults are eligible to participate in the NSLP and their meals may be reimbursed if:

  1. The adults are enrolled in a General Education Development (GED) program that meets in the school during the school day; or
  2. The adults are enrolled in a school up to grade twelve.

In the latter case, the school district includes the adult students in its total student enrollment for funding and other purposes.

Even Start involves a variety of adult activities often requiring adults to accompany their children to school, participate in their children’s curricula, or attend English as a Second Language, parenting, and other "life" skills classes. The key factor in determining eligibility for adults to participate in the NSLP is whether the adults are enrolled during daytime school or GED classes, not whether the adults participate in Even Start.

Questions:   School Nutrition Programs Unit | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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