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

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Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralston, Katherine L. & Newman, Constance & Clauson, Annette L. & Guthrie, Joanne F. & Buzby, Jean C., 2008. "The National School Lunch Program: Background, Trends, and Issues," Economic Research Report 56464, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:56464
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/56464
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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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    1. repec:mpr:mprres:6342 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Ollinger, Michael & Guthrie, Joanne, 2015. "Economies of Scale, the Lunch-Breakfast Ratio, and the Cost of USDA School Breakfasts and Lunches," Economic Research Report 212480, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. Philip Gleason & Ronette Briefel & Ander Wilson & Allison Hedley Dodd, 2009. "School Meal Program Participation and Its Association with Dietary Patterns and Childhood Obesity," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c1c533c65a3d4883a9b227c21, Mathematica Policy Research.
    8. 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.
    9. Todd, Jessica E. & Scharadin, Benjamin, 2016. "Where Households Get Food in a Typical Week: Findings From USDA's FoodAPS," Economic Information Bulletin 242450, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:oup:ajagec:v:99:y:2017:i:2:p:339-356. is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.
    13. Thapa, Janani R. & Lyford, Conrad P., 2014. "Behavioral Economics in the School Lunchroom: Can it Affect Food Supplier Decisions? A Systematic Review," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 17(A).
    14. 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.
    15. 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.

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