Posted: Thu, 12/10/2020 - 10:04am Updated: Wed, 03/31/2021 - 11:42am


Overall commodity entitlements are determined based on the estimated number of lunches served between July 1 and June 30 of each year in schools participating in the NSLP. The entitlements are obtained by multiplying the estimated number of meals served in the current year by the value of commodities assistance for each lunch. 

A School Food Authority's (SFAs) entitlement is the dollar value of USDA Foods each recipient agency is eligible to receive. The USDA foods entitlement is calculated by the number of reimbursable lunches served during the previous year (July 1–June 30) multiplied by the current per-meal rate.

Entitlement dollars are used to purchase USDA Foods. These funds are "spent" during the annual pre-order survey to buy brown box, processed and Department of Defense (DoD) Fresh Fruit and Vegetables. 

Entitlement Spending Options

  • Brown Box (Direct Delivery) - delivered by the school food authorities (SFAs) state assigned warehouse, Dilgard Foods, Stanz Foodservice, or Wabash Foods
  • Processing (Direct Diverted) - SFA allocates dollars for a specific amount of pounds to state approved processor
  • USDA Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (DoD Fresh) - SFAs allocate a portion of it's entitlement to be able to order fresh fruits and vegetables.

USDA Foods Published Rate Of Assistance

  1. SY 2021 Commodity Meal Rate – The published rate for the period July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, is $0.2450 for NSLP schools.
  2. USDA added an additional $0.125 to the SY 2021 Commodity Meal Rate to include the shortfall in USDA purchases for SY 2020 for a national rate of $0.3700 cents per meal.

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