Hunger has been a prevalent issue in both established communities and struggling nations around the globe. It seems that there has never been a time when every person on the planet was food secure, and while it is typically assumed that hunger is an issue only in developing nations, malnutrition and hunger are concerns even in the United States. Millions of children across the country live in homes where food is scarce and meals are skipped on a regular basis. Because research supports the connection between nutrition, good health, and cognitive ability, it is critical that methods of addressing food shortages for minor children be found. One solution, the School Breakfast Program, seeks to provide healthy breakfast meals for children
One of the Healthy People objectives pertaining to adolescents is increasing the number of schools that participate in school breakfast programs. "68.6Â percentÂ of schools overall, including public and private elementary, middle, and high schools, had a school breakfast program in 2006" (Adolescent health, 2013, Healthy People 2013). The goal of Healthy People 2020 is an increase of 10 percent to 75.5Â percent of schools that offer breakfasts to students.
The health and well-being of our nation's children is of paramount importance to the future of the United States as well as the individual futures of our nation's children. As such, one of the most important measures that we as a country can utilize to aid these children in their journey into adulthood is to provide them with nutritiously beneficial meals within the nation's schools to help these children fully immerse themselves in their education as well as in their own personal growth and happiness. Recent changes to the nation's breakfast and lunch programs are providing children with meals that are nutritionally sound in order to better serve the overall population and most importantly, the children in this country that are not afforded such nutrition in their home lives, and as such, these food programs are an essential part of the fostering of American children's health and well-being.
Signpost: I have shown you the three main problems affecting children with food insecurity, and now I’ll present the three causes to these problems.
The health of students should be considered one of the most important issues in education. However, as of 2012, the Center for Disease Control calculated that over one third of children and adolescents were either overweight or obese. Not only does obesity cause physical health problems, but can also affect the academic performance of students. Over the past few years, Americans have been working together to find solutions for this problem.
In order to maximize our program’s ability to provide nutritious meals and snacks, we participate in the federal school nutrition programs, which includes the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. According to the Department of Agriculture, the National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program for public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions (2015). It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. On the same note, our program participates in School Breakfast Program. The department of Agriculture specifies that this program provides cash assistance to states to operate nonprofit breakfast programs in schools and residential childcare institutions. Both the National School Lunch Program, and the School Breakfast Program, ensures that the children receive the adequate nutrition while the our
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
Since the implementation of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, many school nutrition programs have had challenges in meeting the new standards. Several districts across the nation have indicated a decline in lunch meal participation and financial viability as a result. However, during this time, SLA Management experienced the majority of its growth in the number of schools under contract and, more importantly, the number of meals served. Our meals have always been both tasty and nutritious. Fact is, kids love them!
“The National School Lunch Program, or NSLP, is a federally assisted meal program operating in over 101,000 public and non‐profit private schools and residential childcare institutions.” ("National school lunch," 2011) This government-run program is headed by the department of Food and Nutrition standards, a subgroup of the United States Department of Agriculture. “It provides nutritionally balanced, low‐cost or free lunches to more than 31 million children each school day in 2009.”
In the United States many citizens face hunger, starvation and malnutrition on a daily basis. This food insecurity affects millions of Americans. Food insecurity is caused when Americans don’t have enough money to purchase food for themselves and their family. When children experience hunger if affects them both physically and psychologically. “Children who are denied an adequate diet are at a greater risk of not reaching their full potential as individuals. Undernourished youngsters have trouble concentrating and bonding with other children and are more likely to suffer illnesses resulting in school absences.” (Karger, p 371) It is important for children to meet their full potential in order for society to continue thriving into the future. If children are not receiving an adequate education because they have an empty stomach, then they will not continue to higher education or they will do poorly. In order to combat hunger in children the federal government responded with several major programs. Two of the programs the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) are targeted towards school age children. These programs provide students with breakfast and lunch while they are at school.
People live in a complex world where things are never as simple as they seem. Officials agree that in order for students to perform well in school, their basic needs have to be met (in conjunction with the ideas of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs). While schools may not be able to provide a safe place to sleep or warm clothing during the winter, they can provide a healthy, nutritious meal. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, the number of children under 18 years of age living below the federal poverty level of $23,550 for a family of four represent 21.1% of the population (“Child Poverty,” n.d.). The National Lunch Act and its subsequent revisions have sought to mitigate the effects of hunger. Unfortunately, there are other circumstances that affect the desired outcomes of serving a balanced meal to students in need.
School lunch within the United States has progressed to suit nutritious consumption for children in order to promote a healthy lifestyle. The National School Breakfast Program feeds 10 million children every day, and the National School Lunch Program feeds more than 30 million children daily.¹ Upwards of about 50 percent of total caloric needs are achieved at school, hence the need for nutritious and hearty meals for these growing individuals.
During an average school day, most schools will provide a lunch for their students. After concern that school lunches were helping contribute to the obesity epidemic, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) began to regulate school lunches. “The Obama administration’s new Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, signed into law last December, sets aside $4.5 billion over 10 years to fund school lunches and child nutrition programs; it requires school lunch programs to double the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables in each meal, reduce calories and expand access to drinking water during meal time. With 31 million children receiving school lunches and 20% of all U.S. children suffering from obesity, the measure should help to improve the food
Federally-funded school meal programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP), serve an average of 31.3 million lunches and 11.1 million breakfasts per day at a cost to the country of $11.1 billion in 2011 (Food & Nutrition Services, 2012). These federally-funded meals are an excellent opportunity for regulation of nutrition as well as education regarding healthy choices. Obesity is clearly a great threat to the health of our nation, and the federal government must step in to defend its citizens against this growing threat. Children are at the mercy of their families, their social conditions, and their schools, predisposing them to obesity through poor nutritional options and a lack of education; the federal government must intervene through regulation of school meals and snacks to protect children from the abundance of unhealthy options while also educating them and reducing childhood obesity.
Schools in high-poverty areas with most children in need of free or reduced lunch, tend to do well with these new regulations. However, schools will less kids eligible for free or reduced lunch do not do so well, and a lot of districts in this category have dropped the program. Theory is that schools with more children than not eligible for free or reduced lunch, are more likely to eat what is served to them. “Some of our students show up for breakfast and haven’t had anything to eat since lunch the day before” (Hill). The Executive Director of Nutritional services points out a harsh fact, and the good these lunch programs bring to table.