Special Milk Program for Children

To provide subsidies to schools and institutions to encourage the consumption of fluid milk by children.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

See the Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
General Services, New York Office Of $ 162,676   2016-10-012017-09-30
$ 0   
$ 0   
$ 0   
$ 0   
$ 0   
$ 0   
$ 0   
$ 0   
$ 0   

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: 45.2 million half pints of milk served. Fiscal Year 2017: 43.7 million half pints of milk served. Fiscal Year 2018: 42.8 million half pints of milk served.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds are made available to State agencies to encourage the consumption of fluid milk by children in public and private, nonprofit schools of high school grade and under, public and private, nonprofit nursery schools, child care centers, settlement houses, summer camps, and similar nonprofit institutions devoted to the care and training of children, except Job Corps centers, provided that these schools and institutions do not participate in a meal service program authorized under the National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

The Child Nutrition Amendments of 1986 expanded eligibility to include children in split session kindergarten and pre-kindergarten programs in nonprofit schools and institutions that do not have access to the Federal meal service program operating in schools the children attend.

Disbursement to States is made on the basis of the number of half-pints of milk served to non-needy children, using a reimbursement rate specified by law.

Milk served free to eligible needy children is reimbursed at the average cost of a half-pint of milk.

Please refer to regulations: 7 CFR Part 215 -- Special Milk Program; 7 CFR Part 235 -- State Administrative Expense; 7 CFR Part 245 -- Free and Reduced Price Eligibility.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The State, including the District of Columbia, or U.S.

Territory as applicable, administers this program.

Public and nonprofit private school of high school grade or under, and public and private nonprofit residential and nonresidential child care institutions, except Job Corps centers, may participate in this program upon request if they do not participate in a meal service program authorized under the Richard B.

Russell National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

This generally includes nonprofit nursery schools, child care centers, settlement houses and summer camps.

Schools with split session kindergarten and pre-kindergarten programs can receive subsidies for milk served to children in the split session kindergartens and pre-kindergartens that do not have access to another meal service program operating in the school.

All schools and child care institutions that participate must agree to operate this program on a nonprofit basis for all children without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, age or disability.

Beneficiary Eligibility

All children enrolled in participating schools and institutions who do not have access to other Child Nutrition Programs, may participate in this program.


Applicant organizations must furnish evidence of nonprofit status. Costs will be determined in accordance with USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Public schools in all States make application to the State educational agency unless the State applies and is approved for a waiver to designate an alternate agency. Appropriate forms may be obtained from this agency. In most cases, nonprofit private schools and institutions also apply to the State educational agency. However, in some States, the State educational agency is prohibited by State statute from disbursing Federal funds to nonprofit private schools and institutions. In such instances, the application will be referred to the appropriate alternate State agency or the appropriate Food and Nutrition Service Regional Office (FNSRO).

Award Procedures

The State agency reviews the written application of the school or child care institution and, upon determination of eligibility, makes a written agreement for participation in this program.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended., 42 U.S.C 1772 and 1779.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Agreements are effective upon approval of the State Agency.


State Agencies are responsible for determining eligibility of a school or institution.


Agreements are permanent; amended as necessary.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory Formula: Section 3(a) of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1772, describes the funding formula for cash assistance. The reimbursement rate for each paid half-pint of milk served to children is adjusted each school year to correspond to the change in the Producer Price Index for Fluid Milk Products published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The statistical factor used for beneficiary eligibility for free milk is 130 percent of the poverty line and the source is the Federal income poverty guidelines. The cost of milk in excess of the Federal reimbursement must be borne by sources within the States (7 CFR Part 215). Disbursement to States is based on the number of half-pints served to children. This program has no matching requirements. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

For the period covered by the agreement on a fiscal year basis. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.

Post Assistance Requirements


State agencies, schools, and institutions file monthly reports on program operations to claim reimbursement.

Schools must submit final claims to the State agency no later than 60 days after the claiming month, and States must submit final program reports to the Food and Nutrition Service no later than 90 days after the claiming month.

No cash reports are required.

No progress reports are required.

For each fiscal year, States must submit final grant close out reports to the Food and Nutrition Service not later than 120 days after the close of the fiscal year to which they pertain.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.


Schools and institutions must maintain full and accurate records of Special Milk Program operations. Such records must be retained for a period of 3 years after the end of the fiscal year to which they pertain except that, if audit findings have not been resolved, the records must be retained as long as required for their resolution. This program is subject to periodic audits.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Formula Grants) FY 16 $9,187,000; FY 17 est $8,717,000; and FY 18 est $8,759,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No Data Available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Program regulations are codified at 7 CFR Parts 215 and 245.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. See the Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Cynthia Long, 3101 Park Center Drive Room 628, Alexandria, Virginia 22302. Phone: (703) 305-2590.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

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