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The school lunch program helps provide food for
children while they are at school.
Depending on eligibility some families pay regular
cost, some pay reduced cost, and some have free
The School Lunch Program not only assist public
schools but also residential child cares, and nonprofit
On June 4, 1946
President Harry S.
Truman signed the
National School Lunch
Before this however the
school lunch program
was already in use.
The very first major
program was started in a
Boston High schools in
1912- over forty cities started a school lunch program in
their elementary schools
Up until the 1920’s children where still returning
home to eat lunch, but that started to change because
women began to get jobs out of the home and children
where left to get their own lunches.
As the school lunch programs started taking off
funding would come from individuals, and charitable
organizations. Then the First Federal Aid came in 1932
and 1933 and granted loans to towns in
southwestern Missouri to cover the cost of labor
employed in preparing and serving school
In 1937 according to the USDA “there were 3,839 schools
receiving commodities for lunch programs serving 342,031
children daily. Two years later, the number of schools
participating had grown to 14,075 and the number of
children had risen to 892,259” (Gunderson, 2014).
In the 1940’s many schools where providing lunches and
more and more children where eating them.
In 1946- 1947 The act was signed in and the School Lunch
Program feed 7.1 million children meals within that year.
With all the children to feed and farmers who needed to
sell there product the distribution program was designed
which delivered dairy, pork, and wheat to school.
•Meals where designed to provide nutrition and balance
in the child's diet, and do it cheaply.
• There where three meals to get:
Type A - A complete lunch.
Type B -“Incomplete” lunch with smaller portions and
Type C - 1/2 pint of milk.
About 10 years later Type B meals where eliminated
• Monday thru Friday cooks are hard at work all over
America in school kitchens to provide lunches for the
children in their school.
• Yes, there is a lot of controversy about the nutrition aspect
of these school lunches, but this program was started to be
a benefit. As we move forward with more and more
knowledge about what is good and what is bad for our
bodies the school lunch program will continue to change
• According to the Food Research and Action Center “The
National School Lunch Program provides school children
with one-third or more of their Recommended Dietary
Allowance (RDA) for key nutrients. These lunches are
required to provide no more than 30 percent of calories
from fat and less than 10 percent from saturated fat” (Food
Research and Action Center, 2010).
School Lunch Programs have been providing children with
food at little to no cost for a long time. This program has
helped each child know they will at least have that one
meal. That is one meal they don’t have to worry about.
There are children in history and now that are struggling or
did struggle with food supply in there house. This program
lets them eat a meal and prepares them for a better day at
On a empty stomach it is hard to learn anything but when
you have something to eat it fuels your brain and body to
explore and learn some more .
The School Lunch Program has also provided lots of jobs
over the years to cooks and chefs who prepare, cook, and
serve the meals to the children.
School Breakfast Program – started in 1966
Special Milk Program- started in 1968
Child and Adult Care Food Program – piloted in 1968
and was made permanent in 1975-1978
Also in 1998 the School Lunch Program expanded to
serving snacks too. After school cares and special
programs could get reimbursed for snacks served to
students in their care.
Food Research and Action Center. (2010). National school lunch
program. Retrieved from http://frac.org/federal-foodnutrition-
Gunderson, G. (2014, Jan 24). National school lunch program
(nslp). Retrieved from http://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp/history
Olver, L. (2014, March 07). Food timeline: School lunches.
Retrieved from http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodschools.html
School Nutrition Association. (2000-2014). Program history &
data. Retrieved from