School and Community Nutrition

Potential School Meal Program Sponsors

Published: 9/28/2023 1:15 PM

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The School Meal Programs include the following programs:



Follow the steps below if you are inter​es​ted in sponsoring a program.​


Step 1:  Determine if your education program is eligible.

To participate in the school meal programs, your education program must meet the USDA's definition of a school. In Kentucky, this means that your education program

  • Must be operated by a public or private nonprofit organization.
  • Must be held in a building or complex of buildings.
  • Must teach kindergarten, elementary, middle school, and/or high school grade-level classes to children. It can offer classes to preschool children if it is offering classes to other grade levels too.
  • Must be recognized as a school by the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE). If your education program is operated by a private nonprofit organization, your program must be certified by the Kentucky Board of Education. If you aren't sure if it is certified, please check the KBE Certified Non-Public Schools List.
  • Can be a public or private nonprofit residential child care institution (RCCI). If your program is an RCCI, it must be licensed to provide residential child care services by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). For more information about licensing, you can check the CHFS Licensed Child-Caring Facilities List. RCCI's can include, but are not limited to
    1. Homes for the mentally, emotionally, or physically impaired.
    2. Homes for unmarried mothers and their infants.
    3. Group homes, halfway houses, or orphanages.
    4. Temporary shelters for abused children or for runaway children.
    5. Long-term care facilities for chronically ill children. A long-term care facility is a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or intermediate care facility which is intended to take care of children confined for 30 days or more.
    6. Juvenile detention centers.

Even if you are not sure if your program is eligible, please continue to Step 2.

Step 2Contact us for more information.

Please send us your contact information​, so we can

  • Help you verify your program's eligibility or help you start the eligibility process.
  • Help you learn more about the USDA Meal Programs.
  • Help you start the application process.

Step 3:  Develop you program.

Once you decide to become a sponsor, we will help you complete the required forms and extensive training you need.  The training will help you develop the policies and procedures needed to ensure that you meet all federal and state regulations. This step will take approximately six months.

Step 4:  Feed hungry children with support from the USDA!


USDA Nondiscrimination Statement



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Office of Finance and Operations
Division of School and Community Nutrition
300 Sower Blvd
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-5625
Fax (502) 564-5519



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