School Nutrition Services

  • School Lunch

    Durham Public Schools is leading the state in developing and serving healthier and tastier nutritional choices for our students because we know that healthier students make better learners! We believe that no student should start his or her school day hungry -- so every child enrolled in Durham Public Schools can receive a healthy breakfast, absolutely free. No forms to fill out or documents to sign. Just go to the cafeteria or meal kiosk (available at select schools) and receive your food!

Mission & Standards

  • The mission of the DPS School Nutrition Services is to provide quality meals to our customers in a clean and sanitary environment. In order to achieve this mission we are committed to:

    • Providing quality products and services
    • Focusing on the nutritional needs of our customers
    • Encouraging healthy choices as a life-long dietary habits

     Privacy Act Statement 

    This explains how we will use the information you give us.

    The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act requires the information on this application.  You do not have to give the information, but if you do not, we cannot approve your child for free or reduced price meals.  You must include the social security number of the adult household member who signs the application.  The social security number is not required when you apply on behalf of a foster child or you list a Food Stamp Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) identifier for your child or when you indicate that the adult household member signing the application does not have a social security number.  We will use your information to determine if your child is eligible for free or reduced price meals, and for administration and enforcement of the lunch and breakfast programs.  We MAY share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.

    Non-discrimination Statement

    This explains what to do if you believe you have been treated unfairly.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

    If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found at or at any USDA office, or call 866.632.9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax 202.690.7442 or email at

    Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800.877.8339; or 800.845.6136 (Spanish).

    USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

    NC Nutritional Standards for Elementary Schools

    A: Minimum Standards for School Meals are as follows:   

    1. Meals served must be consistent with the current edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Federal Regulations as approved for North Carolina and State Board of Education Policy on Nutrition Standards for School Meals.
    2. When averaged over the week, reimbursable meals will contain 20-35% of calories from fat, and < 10% total calories from saturated fat.  Trans fat and sodium levels will be monitored regularly and kept as low as possible.
    3. In addition to the above, the following standards shall apply:
      1. Reimbursable meals will contain no more than 200 mg cholesterol when averaged over breakfasts and lunches for the week.
      2. Food preparation methods for all foods will be limited to baking, roasting, broiling, boiling, and steaming.
      3. A minimum of 1 daily serving of whole grain products will be offered; whole grain foods will be increased gradually to a minimum of 8 servings per week as market availability of whole grain products increases to supply menu needs*.
      4. Four fruits and/or vegetables will be offered daily. Fruits and vegetables 
        may be canned, frozen, fresh, or dried with preparation methods limited to baking, roasting, broiling, boiling, and steaming. Dark green, deep yellow or orange fruits or vegetables will be offered 3 or more times per week.  Fresh fruits or vegetables will be offered at least 4 times weekly at breakfast and/or lunch.
      5. Legumes will be offered at least 1 time per week.
      6. All milk choices will be 1% or less fat.

     B: Minimum Nutrition Standards for A la Carte Foods and Beverages

    1. If local policy allows A la Carte food and beverage choices, the following options may be offered:
      1. In addition to items offered as a part of the reimbursable meal, A la Carte items must meet the following criteria:
        1. < 35% total calories from fat, excluding seeds and nuts, < 10% total calories from saturated fat, < 1% total calories from trans fat, < 35% added sugar by weight
        2. Any item in the same serving size as offered that day as part of the reimbursable meal with a limit of one additional entrée portion
    • Single serving dairy products containing < 200 calories, < 35% total calories from fat, < 10% total calories from saturated fat, < 1% total calories from trans fat, and < 35% added sugar by weight
    1. Nuts and seeds (< 1 oz portion)
    2. Single serving yogurt or frozen yogurt
    1. Canned, frozen, fresh, or dried fruits and vegetables found in the Food Buying Guide for School Nutrition Programs with preparation methods limited to baking, roasting, broiling, boiling, and steaming
    2. Water
    3. All milk choices will be 1% or less fat
    4. 50% or more fruit juice with no added sweeteners (< 8 oz portion)
    5. 100% frozen fruit products with no added sweeteners (< 8 oz portion)

    C: Minimum Standards for After School Snack Programs

    1. All After School Snack Programs (ASSP) administered by NC DPI shall meet the meal pattern requirements specified by the US Department of Agriculture.
    2. All foods and beverages available to students enrolled in the ASSP shall meet the same criteria required for A la Carte foods and beverages.

    D: Local School Nutrition Programs shall implement these nutrition standards in all elementary schools no later than the first day of the 2008 school year.

    E: The School Nutrition Services Section of the Department of Public Instruction shall review the nutrition standards for elementary schools annually and shall modify the standards as needed based on several criteria, including, but not limited to, current science, best practices in the food and beverage industry, and the availability and affordability of new foods and beverages. 

    F: The School Nutrition Services Section of the Department of Public Instruction shall monitor the progress of each local school administrative unit toward achieving the nutrition standards and shall provide technical assistance and training as needed to assist local school administrative units in implementing the nutrition standards.  Each local School Nutrition Program shall submit nutrient analysis of menus planned for the months of October and March annually; the analysis will be used to assess progress towards achieving the standards.

    G: The School Nutrition Services Section shall report annually on the progress of each local school administrative unit to the State Board of Education.

    H: Students who have special nutritional needs that are in conflict with the nutrition standards will be exempt from the standards.  Each student’s special needs must be addressed through a medically-recognized document provided by a health care professional.  When the child’s documented nutritional need differs from the nutrition standards, the School Nutrition Program will comply with a documented plan or other specific instructions.               
    * A variety of whole grain products may not be readily available in all school districts; efforts to meet the daily target of whole grain foods will be contingent upon market availability.