§18-5D-3. School nutrition programs.

(a) Each county board of education shall establish and operate school nutrition programs under which, at a minimum, a nutritious breakfast and lunch are made effectively available to all students enrolled in the schools of the county in accordance with the State Board of Education standards. The standards shall include guidelines for determining the eligibility of students for paid, free and reduced meals. The standards shall also establish procedures and guidelines for the Feed to Achieve initiative to allow for the provision of healthy, nutritious meals to all elementary school students, without cost to students, where schools find it practical to do so.

(b) The Feed to Achieve initiative will be phased in for all elementary schools as sufficient funds become available, through donations, contributions and payments made by individuals, communities, businesses, organizations and parents or guardians on behalf of students. Nothing in this article prohibits any school from providing free meals to all of its students.

(c) Each county board of education shall:

(1) Require all schools to adopt a delivery system approved by the state Office of Child Nutrition, no later than the 2015 school year, that ensures all students are given an adequate opportunity to eat breakfast. These approved systems shall include, but are not limited to, Grab-And-Go Breakfasts, Breakfast in the Classroom or Breakfast After First Period; and

(2) Collaborate with the state Office of Child Nutrition to develop strategies and methods to increase the percentage of children participating in the school breakfast and lunch nutrition programs.

(d) In addition to other statistics, the county boards of education, in consultation with the state Office of Child Nutrition, shall determine the number of children in each school who are participating in each meal offered by the school; the number of children who are not eating each meal offered by the school; and the total daily attendance.

(e) The state Office of Child Nutrition shall report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, the Select Committee on Children and Poverty and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on or before December 31, 2015, and each year thereafter, on the impacts of the Feed to Achieve Act and any recommendations for legislation.

(f) County boards of education may utilize the nonprofit funds or foundations established in section four of this article or other available funds to offset the costs of providing free meals, after school and summer nutrition programs to elementary students.

(g) If at any time federal financial appropriations to this state for school nutrition programs are terminated, county boards of education are hereby authorized, but not required, to continue the programs at their own expense.

(h) Classroom teachers may not be required to participate in the operation of the school breakfast program as part of their regular duties.