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The National School Lunch Program: Background, Trends, and Issues

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Author Info

  • Ralston, Katherine L.
  • Newman, Constance
  • Clauson, Annette L.
  • Guthrie, Joanne F.
  • Buzby, Jean C.

Abstract

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is the Nation’s second largest food and nutrition assistance program. In 2006, it operated in over 101,000 public and nonprofit private schools and provided over 28 million low-cost or free lunches to children on a typical school day at a Federal cost of $8 billion for the year. This report provides background information on the NSLP, including historical trends and participant characteristics. It also addresses steps being taken to meet challenges facing administrators of the program, including tradeoffs between nutritional quality of foods served, costs, and participation, as well as between program access and program integrity.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/56464
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Research Report with number 56464.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:56464

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Related research

Keywords: National School Lunch Program; child nutrition; obesity; food assistance; Agricultural and Food Policy; Health Economics and Policy; Public Economics;

References

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  1. Philip M. Gleason & Carol W. Suitor, 2003. "Eating at School: How the National School Lunch Program Affects Children's Diets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(4), pages 1047-1061.
  2. Anonymous & Hamilton, William L. & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2004. "Effects Of Food Assistance And Nutrition Programs On Nutrition And Health: Volume 3, Literature Review," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33863, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Sharon K. Long, 1991. "Do the School Nutrition Programs Supplement Household Food Expenditures?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(4), pages 654-678.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Just, David R. & Wansink, Brian & Mancino, Lisa & Guthrie, Joanne F., 2008. "Behavioral Economic Concepts To Encourage Healthy Eating in School Cafeterias: Experiments and Lessons From College Students," Economic Research Report 56489, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  2. Leos-Urbel, Jacob & Schwartz, Amy Ellen & Weinstein, Meryle & Corcoran, Sean, 2013. "Not just for poor kids: The impact of universal free school breakfast on meal participation and student outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 88-107.
  3. Dimitri, Carolyn & Hanson, James C. & Oberholtzer, Lydia, 2012. "Local Food in Maryland Schools: A Real Possibility or a Wishful Dream?," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 43(2), July.
  4. Peckham, Janet G. & Kropp, Jaclyn D., 2012. "Are National School Lunch Program Participants More Likely to be Obese? Dealing with Identification," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124905, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  5. Mancino, Lisa & Todd, Jessica E. & Guthrie, Joanne F. & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2010. "How Food Away From Home Affects Children's Diet Quality," Economic Research Report 134700, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  6. Conner, David S. & Izumi, Betty T. & Liquori, Toni & Hamm, Michael W., 2012. "Sustainable School Food Procurement in Large K–12 Districts: Prospects for Value Chain Partnerships," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 41(1), April.
  7. Peckham, Janet G. & Kropp, Jaclyn D. & Mroz, Thomas A. & Haley-Zitlin, Vivian & Granberg, Ellen M. & Hawthorne, Nikki, 2013. "Do School Lunch Menus Influence National School Lunch Program Participation?," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150398, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  8. Philip Gleason & Ronette Briefel & er Wilson & Allison Hedley Dodd, 2009. "School Meal Program Participation and Its Association with Dietary Patterns and Childhood Obesity," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6342, Mathematica Policy Research.
  9. Lin, Biing-Hwan & Guthrie, Joanne F., 2012. "Nutritional Quality of Food Prepared at Home and Away From Home, 1977-2008," Economic Information Bulletin 142361, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  10. Smith, Travis A., 2013. ""Billions and Billions Served" Heterogeneous Effects of Food Source on Child Dietary Quality," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151212, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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