MILLION children can get free or reduced price meals each day under the National School Lunch Program.
Federally funded program that provides support to students at public and nonprofit private schools.
The program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services.
What is the National School Lunch Program and who is eligible?
The National School Lunch Program was signed into force by President Harry Truman in 1946 as part of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act.
Typically the second largest food and nutrition assistance program in the nation, according to the USDA, the program serves students in preschool through 12th grade.
Free or low-cost lunches are provided each day to eligible students.
The program operates at approximately 100,000 public and nonprofit private schools and serves approximately 22.6 million students each school day by 2020.
This is a decrease from the 29.6 million students who benefited from the program in 2019, possibly due to Covid Disease.
There are different levels of free and cheap lunches depending on the household income.
To receive the free lunch, students must come from households with incomes at or below 130% of the federal poverty line.
For reduced-price lunch, students must come from families that are between 130% and 185% of the Federal poverty level.
Low-cost full lunches are available to students who live in families that meet about 185% of the federal poverty line.
How it works?
While the National School Lunch Program may operate in public and nonprofit private schools preschool through 12th grade, public and nonprofit private child care companies may also participate. .
Charter schools can also participate as public schools, according to the program’s fact sheet.
USDA cash and food aid provided to participating schools for all meals served will be refunded.
Then, the National School Lunch Program must serve federal meeting lunches meal pattern required, as explained on the USDA website.
These requirements, last updated in 2012 according to the USDA website, include increasing the availability of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains during school lunches.
Fat-free and low-fat milk should also be readily available.
Levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat must be low and meals must “meet the nutritional needs of school children within their calorie requirements”, January 2012 rule Statuses.
How to register
Students receive benefits through Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) automatically eligible for free school meals through the National School Lunch Program.
Participation in other federal programs also helps students qualify for the lunch program.
However, if you do not receive other government benefits, school meal applications are usually sent home at the beginning of each school year.
Contact your child’s school for assistance, or if you need an application, which can be filled out at any time of the year.
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https://www.the-sun.com/money/4245401/national-school-lunch-program-free-meals/ What is the National School Lunch Program and who is eligible?