Top of Page

School Food

The CPS school food environment comprises school meals, snacks and drinks, and à la carte, individually priced items for sale in the dining center.

School Food

As a part of the National School Lunch Program, all students at CPS eat for free every day. A healthy breakfast can reduce absenteeism, tardiness, and nurse visits and improve nutritional intake and academic achievement.

School food must meet CPS food service guidelines which includes a commitment using local procurement where economically feasible. Access monthly breakfast and lunch menus.

Snacks and Drinks

All snacks and drinks that are sold on school grounds, including those sold at vending machines, school stores and à la carte, must meet nutrition and portion requirements. There are also rules for vending machine placement and operation.

À La Carte

Individually priced food items that are available for sale in the dining center are considered “competitive foods” as students may choose them over the meal provided through the National School Lunch program. These items must meet nutrition criteria.


  • Understanding School Food one page summary [ ENGLISH  |  SPANISH ]
  • Healthy Snack List [ ENGLISH  |  SPANISH ]
  • Healthy Mobile Vending and Healthy Snacking Environment [ ENGLISH ]
  • Competitive Foods Guidelines [ ENGLISH  |  SPANISH ]

Policy Requirements

  • All foods and drinks sold on school grounds, including vending machines, à la carte, and school stores, must meet nutritional criteria.
  • Universal free breakfast must be provided.

Related Links

Student Health and Wellness

773-553-KIDS (5437)

42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602