Read the FRAC Chat post: #RaiseYourHand for Community Eligibility Schools During #NSLW19

National School Lunch Week may be over, but you can still make some noise about the importance of school lunch and community eligibility. the powerful tool that allows high-poverty schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students, and eliminates the need for school districts to collect and process school meal applications. Schools that implement community eligibility frequently see participation in school breakfast and lunch programs increase, so more children are getting the nutrition they need to learn throughout the day.

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FRAC Releases Summer Nutrition Reports

During the summer, millions of low-income children lose access to the school lunches, breakfasts, and afterschool snacks and meals they receive during regular school year. The Summer Nutrition Programs help fill this gap by providing free meals and snacks to children who might otherwise go hungry. Find more on the reach of these summer meals in FRAC’s Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Reports.

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Congress Begins the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Process

Find the latest news and resources on Child Nutrition Reauthorization in FRAC’s Legislative Action Center.

The National School Lunch Program — the nation’s second largest food and nutrition assistance program behind SNAP — makes it possible for all school children in the United States to receive a nutritious lunch every school day. The vast majority of schools — approximately 95 percent — participate in the program, providing meals to more than 30 million children on an average day.

Report: More Low-Income Students Receive Free School Meals in the 2018–2019 School Year Through Community Eligibility

Community Eligibility: The Key to Hunger-Free Schools finds that the number of schools participating in community eligibility grew by 14 percent compared to the 2018–2019 school year, with 64.2 percent of eligible schools participating. Nearly 13.6 million children in 28,492 schools and 4,633 school districts are participating and have access to school breakfast and lunch at no charge.

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Quick Facts:

  • Nearly 22 million low-income children participated in the National School Lunch Program on a typical day in the 2017-2018 school year.
  • Nearly 96,000 schools participated in the National School Lunch Program in the 2017-2018 school year.
  • Any public school, nonprofit private school, or residential child care institution can participate in the program and receive federal funds for each meal served.
  • Meals served through the National School Lunch Program meet federal nutrition standards, which require schools to serve more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • The program is administered at the federal level by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and in each state typically through the state department of education or agriculture.

School Lunch in Your State

To find out the agency that administers the National School Lunch Program in your state, check USDA’s list of state administering agencies.

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