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M. Ann Levett, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Savannah-Chatham Co.
Public School System

208 Bull Street
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 395-5600

Driving Directions:

208 Bull Street
(Admin. Offices)

2 Laura Avenue
(Board Meetings)

© 1998-present
All Rights Reserved
Meal Requirements 

 National Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program are required by law to serve meals that meet a variety of nutrition requirements. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which went into effect in 2012, changed those standards significantly, bringing better nutrition to schools. Here’s how the updated standards have affected your child’s lunch tray. 


Lunches before

Lunches now


No limits on trans fats

School lunches must be trans fat–free.


School lunches had set calorie minimums, but not maximums

Meals must meet age-appropriate calorie limits and portion sizes (elementary school lunches must be 550 to 650 calories and middle school lunches must be 600 to 700 calories).


Sodium levels were unregulated.

Schools must gradually reduce sodium levels in school meals until elementary school lunches contain fewer than 640 mg sodium and middle school lunches contain fewer than 710 mg.


Plain or flavored whole milk and 2 percent milk were allowed.

Milk must be fat-free or 1 percent (flavored milk must be fat-free).

Whole grains

Whole grains were encouraged, but not required.

Half of all grains offered must be whole-grain rich and by 2014, all grains offered must be whole-grain rich.

Fruits and vegetables

½ to ¾ cup combined fruit and veggie serving, with no specifications about what kind (that meant French fries were considered equal with broccoli!)

Schools are required to serve at least ½ cup of fruit and ¾ cup of veggies each per meal, and there are weekly requirements for legumes, green, red or orange, and starchy vegetable offerings. Children must take at least one fruit or vegetable with their meal.

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) meals are primarily federally funded and reimbursed to local school systems through the Georgia Department of Education at a set rate based on student eligibility data. Each student must choose at least three of the five components and one of the three must be a fruit OR a vegetable.

At lunch, students must be offered 5 food components with portions based on their grade, including:

    •       Fluid milk (1 cup daily)
    •       Meat/meat alternate (1-2 ounce daily)
    •       Bread/grains (1-2 ounce daily)
    •       Fruit (1/2-1 cup daily)
    •       Vegetables (3/4 – 1 cup daily)

Meal requirements for breakfast:

At breakfast, students must be offered 4 food items, including:

    • Juice/fruit/vegetable (1 cup daily)
    • Grains and optional: meat or meat alternate (1-2 ounce daily)
    • Fluid milk (1 cup daily)

Students are offered an opportunity to select only items they will consume as a means to cut down on waste. This is called Offer versus Serve (OVS). Schools are required to offer choices within each food component to encourage children to choose a well-balanced meal including all 5 components form items they like.

OVS is followed during lunch for grades K-12. We also follow the OVS provision for all grades at breakfast. Signs at the serving line and menus sent home to parents or on your school system’s website will assist students and parents with their selections.

When eating healthy school meals at lunch, under the OVS provision, students must take at least ½ cup vegetable or fruit, plus 2 items from the food components listed above. So at school, your child is receiving a balanced meal including fruit and/or veggie, milk, a grain item, and a protein source.

Healthy school meals at breakfast allows students with the OVS option to choose at least 3 food items based on 3 of the components listed above with at least 1/2 cup fruit. Again, your child is receiving a balanced breakfast that includes age appropriate calories, and reduced sodium and saturated fat.

If the student chooses to get everything being served for the day then that is also acceptable


Examples of reimbursable meals:

Shephard’s pie w/ roll
Ranch beans
Broccoli w/ cheese sauce
Chocolate milk 

Pepperoni pizza

Vanilla milk
Fresh apple
Sweet potato puffs 

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.