- Schools that choose to take part in the NSLP get cash subsidies, donated commodities, and free bonus shipments from the USDA for each meal they serve.
- The amount of reimbursement depends on the number of children receiving free and reduced-price lunches. (In the 2009-2010 school year, schools with less than 60 percent of students receiving free and reduced price lunches are reimbursed $2.68 for each lunch served free of charge, $2.28 for each reduced price lunch, and 25 cents for full-priced lunches.)
- Bonus foods are free to schools and can vary in type and amount. They depend entirely on the agricultural surplus available at a given time.
- The amount of commodity foods, called “entitlement” foods, that a district receives is based on the total number of lunches served. In 2009, schools received 19.50 cents worth of food for each lunch served.
- School food authorities can also be reimbursed for snacks served to children in after-school educational or enrichment programs and for breakfasts served in nonprofit breakfast programs.