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National School Lunch Program

Natonal School Lunch Program

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides children meals that meet USDA nutrition guidelines and supports both academic achievement and health during the school day. In Montana, half of the lunch meals are served to children free or at a reduced price, based on their family’s household income.

In Montana, the National School Lunch Program serves 80,000 students every day.

Smart Snacks in Schoolsgirl with apples

All foods sold to students during the school day (midnight the day of school until 30 minutes after the final bell rings) must meet Smart Snack guidelines. Smart Snacks includes fundraisers, vending machines, school stores and a la carte items sold in addition to the school meal.

Smart Snacks Fuels Successful Students (September 2014) webinar
An overview of the Smart Snacks policy done by Montana Team Nutrition in collaboration with Rural Health Initiative.

USDA Resources & Policy

Alliance for a Healthier Generation Resources

Menu Planning

Required Menu Planning Documents and Forms

Production Record - Blank:Production records must be completed and maintained to receive reimbursement for meals.
Production Record - Example
Standardized Recipe Form - Blank
Standardized Recipe Form - Example
Receiving School Record

Menu Calendars

Menu Calendars K-12 Grade Level from the Bell Institute
Montana Harvest of the Month School Menu Calendars: SY 2016-17
To learn more about or register for the Montana Harvest of the Month program, visit:

Menu Calendars

Recipes and Menu Planning Resources

Take a look at our Procurement page for guidance on how to procure your foods appropriately. Checkout MT Farm to School for ideas on how to include local foods on your menus .

Current Events and Grant Opportunities

Current Events

Training Opportunities

Grant Opportunities


For more information about the National School Lunch Program, contact OPI School Nutrition Programs at 406.444.2501.