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Elderly Nutrition

2 people in wheelchairs around a tableElderly Nutrition (EN)

Wisconsin Statutes established an Elderly Nutrition Program in public and private schools to be administered by the State Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in 1973. The program provides participating SFAs with limited reimbursement for meal costs of lunch served to all persons age 60 and older and to their spouse of any age.

Program Requirements

To be eligible for reimbursement under the EN, the program must:

  • Be established by the School Board of a public or private school agency, or by a petition of five percent (5%) of the number of voters in the district’s last election provided that hot food service facilities are available to school children in the district.
  • Provide EN meals at every high school and middle school in the district. Provide EN meals at elementary schools by choice.
  • Serve meals which meet minimal nutritional standards consistent with the federal requirements for grades 9-12 in the National School Lunch Program.
  • Provide at least one meal per day for each day that school is in regular session.
  • Charge participants not more than the cost of the meal minus 15%.
  • Serve only residents of Wisconsin 60 years of age or more, or the spouse of any such person.
  • Not use state funds to deliver EN program meals.
  • Operate separately from a federal Elderly Nutrition Program under Title III-C of the Older Americans Act, or operate in conjunction with a federal Program by Joint Agreement or through a Competitive Bid process.

Meal Pattern

person with gray hair eating

Lunch Meal Pattern Table (follow Grades 9-12 column)

Reimbursement Rates

Wisconsin Statutes provide the participating school agencies sum sufficient funding for reasonable expenses incurred, excluding capital equipment costs, but not to exceed 15% of the cost of the meal or 50 cents per meal, whichever is less. Any cost in excess of the lesser amount may be charged to participants. No funds are provided for state or local agency administration.


EN claims are made annually through DPI Online Services. Claims must be submitted by August 31 for the preceding SY.


Susan Bostian Young
Nutrition Program Consultant
(608) 267-1066