No-Cost Breakfast and Lunch and Info on Smart Snacks

  • Girl shows off her banana smile For the 2022-23 school year, School District U-46 will again offer breakfast and lunch meals at no cost to all students at all U-46 schools. The following will answer some questions families might have about food and snacks during the school day. 

    Fee Waiver Requests 

    U-46 will again offer breakfast and lunch meals at no cost to all students at all U-46 schools. Although meal applications will not be required for the 2023-24 school year, we recommend families complete the Fee Waiver Form, which can apply to athletic fees, driver’s education, parking permits, and more. 2023-2024 Fee Waiver Request Form (Versión en español aquí.). Please know that students are still allowed to bring lunch from home. The lunch provided for students at no cost is completely optional. 


    The District is providing breakfast for all students as research supports that a child who starts the day with breakfast is more likely to be at school, a better learner, and willing to participate in the classroom. We encourage students to arrive at school in time to have breakfast before the start of school. Students who arrive after the bell will be offered a Grab & Go breakfast. 

    Milk Cartons 

    While meals are provided at no cost to families, individual milk cartons must be purchased when not consumed as part of a complete school breakfast or lunch meal provided through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program by the District’s Food and Nutrition Services Department. 

    The cost of individual milk is $.50 and must be purchased through the student’s MySchoolBuck account as cash is not accepted.

    Use of Lunchroom 

    In order to help maintain the safety and wellbeing of our students, and provide an ongoing clean and efficient school environment, we encourage students not to eat in the classroom. We provide time before the start of the school day for students to eat breakfast, and later in the day, a lunch break. Breakfast and lunch take place in the school’s lunchroom allowing us to ensure proper food distribution and sanitation.

    Smart Snacks  

    The USDA requires that “smart snacks” are the only snacks provided to students during the USDA-defined school day hours, which are from midnight to 30 minutes after the end of the school day. The smart snack requirement does not apply to lunches brought from home. Vending machines, snack bars, and a la carte items available to high school students include only smart snacks. Use the online smart snack calculator for snacks at home. 

    Fundraising efforts taking place after the USDA-defined school day hours are not restricted to Smart Snacks Standards.