Mass. General Laws c.69 § 1C

National Child Nutrition Act and National School Lunch Program; minimum nutritional standards for school food services

Table of Contents



(1) The board shall require all public schools to make lunches available to children. The board shall require all schools providing school lunch as provided in the National School Lunch Act, as amended, to also provide school breakfast as provided in the National Child Nutrition Act, as amended, and make both breakfast and lunch available at no charge to each attending student regardless of household income. Schools shall maximize access to federal funds for the cost of breakfast and lunch by adopting: (i) the federal community eligibility provision or provision 2, pursuant to section 72A of chapter 71; or (ii) other applicable federal provisions, including, but not limited to, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296. The department shall reimburse the difference between the amount paid by the United States Department of Agriculture and the free rate as set annually by the United States Secretary of Agriculture under 42 U.S.C. 1759a for each school.

(2)  All schools that serve breakfast pursuant to paragraph (1) and where not less than 60 per cent of the students at the school are eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program, as determined by the department, shall offer all students a school breakfast after the beginning of the instructional day. A school subject to this paragraph may use the breakfast service model that best suits its students in accordance with this section and the department’s guidelines or regulations, including, but not limited to: breakfast in the classroom, grab and go breakfast or second chance breakfast. The department shall issue guidelines or promulgate regulations to implement this paragraph and may consult with nonprofit organizations with experience regarding equity, the opportunity gap, hunger and food security issues and best practices for improving student access to school breakfast. The department shall annually: (i) collect information about availability and participation rates of students who partake in a school breakfast after the beginning of the instructional day pursuant to this paragraph at each school; and (ii) make the information publicly available on its website not later than July 1.


The board shall establish minimum nutritional standards for all school food services in all public elementary, secondary and vocational-technical schools. Standards and regulations of the board promulgated pursuant to this subsection shall be adopted in the following manner. A copy of such regulations and standards shall be filed by the board with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate who shall refer such regulations and standards to the joint committee on education for review. Within 30 days after such filing, said committee shall hold a public hearing on the regulations and standards, shall issue a report and file a copy thereof with the board of education. The board shall adopt final regulations and standards making such revisions in the interim regulations and standards as it deems appropriate in view of such report and shall forthwith file a copy of the regulations and standards with the joint committee on education and not earlier than 30 days after the date of such filing, the board shall file the final regulations and standards with the state secretary and the regulations shall thereupon take effect.

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Last updated: December 4, 2023

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