Healthy Food Certification (HFC) under Section 10-215f of the Connecticut General Statutes requires that each board of education or governing authority for all public schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) must certify annually to the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) whether the district will follow the Connecticut Nutrition Standards (CNS) for all foods sold to students separately from reimbursable school meals. Public school districts include the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System (CTECS), charter schools, interdistrict magnet schools, and endowed academies. Private schools and residential child care institutions are not eligible for HFC.
The CNS applies to all sources of food sales on school premises at all times including, but not limited to, school stores, vending machines, school cafeterias, and any fundraising activities on school premises. Districts that choose the healthy food option of HFC receive an additional 10 cents per lunch, based on the total number of reimbursable lunches (paid, free, and reduced) served in the prior school year.
- CSDE Training Program: Complying with Healthy Food Certification
- HFC Overview: Requirements for Competitive Foods in HFC Public Schools
- HFC Guide: Guide to Competitive Foods in HFC Public Schools (CSDE)
- Resources for Meeting the Federal and State Requirements for Competitive Foods in Schools (CSDE)
- Summary Chart: Federal and State Requirements for Competitive Foods in HFC Public Schools (CSDE)
- Summary of Connecticut Nutrition Standards
- Evaluating Foods for CNS Compliance ("How To" section of CSDE's CNS webpage)
- Guidance on Evaluating Recipes for Compliance with the CNS
- How to Evaluate Foods Made from Scratch for Compliance with the CNS
- How to Evaluate Purchased Foods for Compliance with the CNS