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The 2023 K-12 Power Players

Food Management lists the 25 largest school districts in the country and what they’ve been up to recently.

Like the rest of the school nutrition community, meal programs at the nation’s largest school districts were hit with the expiration of emergency universal federal school meal subsidies last summer, meaning that districts faced the 2022-23 school year again having to collect applications to determine which students were eligible for free or reduced price meal. Some got around the meal waiver expiration by qualifying for CEP (Community Eligibility Provision) status either district wide or at least for some of their sites, while a few others were fortunate enough to be in states like California that had adopted their own universal free meal policies after Congress passed on extension of the federal policy.

Meanwhile, enrollment declines have meant fewer customers and fewer potential sales for meal programs in affected districts, impacting revenue generation at a time when labor and food costs are rising significantly and the termination of universal free meals leads to lower participation.

Here’s what’s going on in the 25 largest public school districts in the country as determined by enrollment…

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