The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) promotes relationships and enhances partnerships that provide quality nutrition education and nutrition services for the people of North Dakota. NDDPI in accordance with the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), administers child nutrition and food distribution programs. A partnership of federal, state, and local agencies provides nutrition services and food assistance to students, young children, and adults.


What is the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (SUN Bucks) Program?

SUN Bucks logoThe Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer Program, or SUN Bucks provides food assistance to households with school-age children who are eligible for free or reduced-priced school meals during the summer, when they don't have access to meals at school. The benefit is $120 per eligible school-aged child. Each eligible child will receive a Summer EBT card loaded with SUN Bucks (SUN Bucks) benefits.

This program is a partnership between the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, and the USDA, Food and Nutrition Services.

SUMMER EBT (Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer)

SUMMER EBT (Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer)

Children who attended a K-12 school that participated in the National School Lunch Program in SY 23-24 and were eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school are eligible for Summer EBT.   However, only children who attend Provision 2 or CEP schools and have been documented as being eligible for free or reduced-price meals are eligible for SEBT.  Since Provision 2 or CEP schools don’t collect free or reduced-price applications, many students at these schools will miss out on Summer EBT benefits unless households complete an application. 


·       If your child’s school participates in the National School Lunch Program in the 2023-2024 School Year AND:

o   Your child receives free meals at school, AND your household income is at or under 185% of the 2023-2024 federal poverty level, or

o   Your household receives SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR benefits, or

o   Your child is experiencing homelessness, is a migrant student or is in foster care.

·       If your child does not attend a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program, but your household receives SNAP or TANF benefits, AND your child is between the ages of 7 and 16.

If your household meets any of the conditions above, you have already been confirmed to receive Summer EBT Benefits and should have received an email in the month of April alerting you of the benefit and giving you a Unique Access Link to the Summer EBT Portal.

If you have not received an email and you believe your child is eligible, as described above, please contact us.


·       Your child does not receive free school meals:
If your child is not already directly certified or categorically eligible, and you did not complete and return an application for free school meals to your child’s school, you are encouraged to submit the Alternate Meals Application below to see if you qualify for the Summer EBT benefit. 

·       Your child attends a school that provides free meals for every student in the school:
If your child attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school and is not directly certified or categorically eligible, you are encouraged to submit an Alternate Meals Application below to see if you qualify for the Summer EBT benefit.


STOP, READ ABOVE, You May Not Need to Apply!

[Fair Hearing Procedure]

Help reach out to families.

Families SEBT Fact Sheet

Refer Families to:

SEBT Web Site for Parents:

SEBT special email address:

Keep your PowerSchool Contacts up to date.

Help Document



North Dakota Legislation for the 2023-2024 & 2024-2025 School Year


HB 1494


  • Scenario: Our school pays for seconds for all students. we have a policy that kids cannot have seconds if they have an overdue lunch balance. Is this policy in violation of HB  1494? 
    • No, this would not be a violation of HB 1494.  It only refers to reimbursable breakfasts or lunches.  Students may be denied ala carte or second entrée options if they don’t have money in their meal account.   

SB 2284


There is appropriated out of any moneys in the general fund in the state treasury, not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $6,000,000, or so much of the sum as may be necessary, to the department of public instruction for the purpose of providing grants to school districts to defray the expenses of providing meals, free of charge, for all students enrolled in public or nonpublic school at or below two hundred percent of the federal poverty guideline, for the biennium beginning July 1, 2023, and ending June 30, 2025. The superintendent of public instruction shall develop guidelines and reporting requirements for the grants.

2023 Legislative Change Webinar

Need help to determine Applications

Need Help to Submit Your Claim

State 200 Marketing Materials

Links to other Marketing Resource Information


  • When does the eligibility begin?
    • The funding for this program starts with the new state biennium.  Therefore, the program will start on July 1, 2023.
  • Do students who qualify for State 200 qualify for Summer EBT?
    • No, SummerEBT benefits qualify based on Federal income guidelines only.
  • If a student with a negative meal account balance qualifies for State 200, will this clear the meal account balance to $0?
    • No, all meal charges incurred before eligibility will continue with the student meal account until the household pays the amount owed or the school district settles the account with non-federal funds.
  • How will State Free affect schools that have implemented the CEP or Provision 1, 2, or 3 programs in North Dakota?
    • Schools that are using CEP or Provision rules should see no difference in the counting or claiming process.  All students in these programs are served meals free.  Claiming percentages will remain the same as the last base year that was identified as these are federal guidelines.
  • How does State 200 affect households that are receiving other benefits from the school based on eligibility, ie. Reduced athletic fees, free bussing, instrument rentals, and computer insurance programs. 
    • A. Each school will decide whether they will include State 200 in their benefits.
  • How will I account for the State 200 reimbursement in the Nonprofit School Food Service Account?
    • A. Similar to the current state reimbursement for reduced-price breakfast.  It should be coded to 3950.
  • I use PrimeroEdge for all my F/R apps.  Will PrimeroEdge figure out who qualifies for state or federal free meals?
    • Yes, Primero Edge will have the new qualifying guidelines installed in their software.
  • With the 30-day carryover in the fall, do we need to go change all our reduced students to exempt for those 30 days?
    • No, this will only apply to new applicants
  • Will we be able to find the CFDA number and breakdown of funding when we receive the funding? This ends up on our SEFA so we need to properly record the funds in our accounting system.
    • CFDA are Federal numbers only.  The new State 200 reimbursement will appear separately on the DPI payment report and should be coded to 3950.
  • What price do I charge the students this year?
    • Eligibility Level 



      Afterschool Snack 

      Free Eligible 




      Reduced Price Eligible 




      State 200 Eligible 



      School determined


      School determined 

      School determined  

      School determined

  • Reduced Breakfast is free but isn't lunch $.40 per meal?
    • Reduced Lunch will be at no cost for students who qualify for reduced meals.  The State of ND will pay the .40 fee for reduced-price students.  Schools should continue to claim those meals in the reduced category.
  • Are all students free this year?
    • No. Only students who qualify under the 200% poverty level qualify for free meals.
  • How do I determine the price I charge the adults this year?
    • Adult meal price will be determined the same way it has been in the past.  For non-pricing schools, the adult meal cost must be equal to or higher than the reimbursement received for a free meal plus the value of commodities received for the meal.    For a pricing school, the adult meal must be equal to or higher than the highest student meal price plus the amount of reimbursement received for a paid student meal plus the value of commodities received for the meal.  For a helpful tool to calculate the adult meal price, please go to the Child Nutrition and Food Distribution website to find it under the School Nutrition Program tab and Reimbursement Rates & Pricing.
  • Will the State 200 students qualify the school for Title funds?
    • No. State 200 students should not be counted as eligible for Title Funds.  
  • Which Income Eligibility Guidelines will I use for determining eligibility this year?
    • Please download the North Dakota Extended Income Eligibility guidelines to use for the school year 2023 – 2024.  You will see three distinct sections of eligibilities – the normal Federal Free, Federal Reduced Price, and the additional State 200 sections. 
    • Best Practice: Do a confirming review of all of your applications this year!
  • How do families qualify for State 200 eligibility?
    • Families will qualify for the State 200 by filling out the normal Application for Free and Reduced-Price School Meals.  The school then has the responsibility to determine at what eligibility level the household may or may not qualify using the North Dakota Extended Income Eligibility table. 
  • I use computer-based application software. How do I get the State Free added to the eligibility determination?
    • The school is responsible for contacting the computer software company to add the State 200 eligibility determination and North Dakota Extended Income Eligibility table to the software.  If the school is using PrimeroEdge as the application software, the State has contacted the company and they are working on the update for their software. 
  • I use a computer-based point of sale (POS) and meal-counting software. How do I get the State 200 eligibility determination added so the claims are correct?
    • A. The school is responsible for contacting the computer software company to add the State 200 eligibility.  Power Lunch users will use the “Exempt” category for State Free students.
  • Are there other states that have implemented a partially free system?  
    • Yes, Oregon went with 300% poverty last year.  New Jersey will implement a 199% poverty with us this fall.
  • Can I claim a State Free in after-school snack program?
    • No.  SB2284 only appropriated funding for breakfast and lunch.
  • When can I send out applications?
    • July 1, 2023, is the first date you can accept any applications.  
  • Does DPI have a sample letter that we can send to all of our families with this information as an incentive to apply? I see there's a household letter, but it would be nice to have something with an explanation for the parents.
    • DPI will have a sample letter on its website.
  • When we send the letter on how they qualify.....if they qualify for reduced, they qualify for state we check both boxes?
    • Only one eligibility should be checked.  Households will receive the eligibility status of the lowest level they qualify for.  Households with incomes between 186% and 200% of the federal poverty level would qualify for State Free.  Those households with incomes between 131% and 185% of the poverty level will qualify for reduced price eligibility.
    • If a family qualifies for the reduced-price eligibility, you would only check the “Approved for Free meals based on Federal Free or Reduced price guidelines.”  The state is only paying the .30 fee for breakfast and the .40 fee for lunch for reduced-price meals. 
  • Rollover 'reduced' kids will be 'free' for the first 30 days, not reduced price just to clarify?
    • That is correct for breakfast and lunch.  The Afterschool Snack program is not covered by the State 200 program so reduced-price snacks will remain at whatever pricing the school has set for those snacks. ($.15 is the most that a reduced-price snack can be priced at.)  Please remember to set the pricing on the school meal point of sale to $0 for free, reduced price, and state-free eligible meals at breakfast and lunch.  
  • When we enter prices into Power Lunch, we will enter $0 for reduced, right?
    • That is correct, the point-of-sale software, Power Lunch will need to be updated for the coming school year with the correct pricing scale.  Please do this as soon as possible so you are ready for the new school year.
  • We have families that need a translation of the free and reduced-price meal application.  Does the State provide those applications?
  • When a family submits an application that is in a different language, how will we track whether this family is eligible for State 200?
    • The USDA prototype application is used in all the languages available from the USDA Translated Application website.  North Dakota’s application is based on the prototype with the exception that the portion that is for School Use Only has been moved from the second page to the front and includes the State Free eligibility.  
    • All other information that the household enters is the same.  The last 4 digits of the Social Security Number and the signature of the adult submitting the application are still required on the translated applications.  
    • Income values and the number of household members should be easy to figure out from any application.  Use the North Dakota Expanded Income Eligibility guidelines to determine the eligibility level for the household. If the family qualifies for the State Free income eligibility, the School should make a note on the application or attach a note to the application to indicate that eligibility, since it is not included on the USDA prototype translated applications.   The School is responsible for identifying in some way at what level the application was determined, who did the determination and the date the determination was made, and eligibility made available to the student(s) at the point of sale.
  • What category should I set the State200 eligibility in Power Lunch?
    • Use the “Exempt” category for any student who qualifies for free meals under the new Expanded Eligibility Guidelines.







In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.