From The National School Lunch Program to The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

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Introduction Will The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act recently signed into law on December 13, 2010 by President Barack Obama be able to deliver healthier meals in the schools nutrition programs or will the bill overwhelm struggling school districts with additional unfunded mandates? Schools confront difficult issues on a daily basis that affect the learning ability of their students: struggling economic conditions, students from poor families, increased food insecurity across the country, and constant pressures to increase student performance. Providing healthy meals for children, who otherwise would eat poorly or not at all, is a necessity that our country has recognized and planned for many decades. Two measures authorized …show more content…
Current Policies/ Funding The National School Lunch Program is an enormous federal program that has grown to become the second largest U.S. food and nutrition assistance program in both numbers of children served. In 2009, over 31 million children participated in the NSLP each school day at a cost of 9.3 billion to the Federal government. The SBP reached 11 million children at an additional cost of 2.4 billion. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the program on the federal level and provides oversight of the states agencies that are responsible for the program, in Georgia, the department of education manages the statewide program. Ultimately, the success of the program resides with the local school district or each individual school food authority who implement the program to the students. The laws establishing the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program stated that schools had to run their nutrition programs profit free and set the monetary per meal rates to reimburse the individual school. Rates for school year 2009 were $2.72 for free lunches, $2.32 for reduced cost lunches and $.26 for paid lunches. Today, almost half of all lunches served are provided free to students, with an additional 10 percent provided at reduced prices. Although schools are not required to offer NSLP meals, 94 percent of schools, both public and private, choose to participate in the program. Little

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