The National School Lunch Program makes it possible for every child in the United States to have a nutritional and balanced meal on every school day. The school lunch programs that they implement reimburse all participating schools in efforts to safeguard the health of the Nation’s children. Children are provided with more than 1/3 of their Recommended Daily Allowance of key nutrients.
More than 99,800 schools participate in assisting children in need by offering a school lunch program. They can be a public school, a non profit private school, or a residential child care facility in order to qualify for the nationally funded benefits. On a typical school day, more than 18 million children receive a free or reduced price lunches.
Eligibility for receiving the benefits of a free or reduced lunch program are determined by the parent’s income. Household income must fall below 130% of the national poverty level to receive free meals or between 130% and 185% of poverty to receive reduced price lunches. However, aside from showing proof of income, there are several other ways that a family can become eligible. If the family is receiving food stamps or some other forms of financial assistance, they often automatically qualify. Also, children who are homeless, migrant, or runaways can be placed in the program by a professional judgment, without having to compete an application.
Even the idea of a starving child is hard for most people to think about. Fortunately, our government has established the National School Lunch Program to help. In addition to providing kids with a nutritional lunch, our government also supports programs for free breakfast and free after school snack to those who qualify in participating schools.