The National School Lunch Program

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The National School Lunch Program is a federally funded meal program operating in over 100,000 public. It provides nutritionally balanced, low‐cost or free lunches to more than 31 million children each school day in 2012 based on the child's household income (USDA). The program is managed by the Food and Nutrition Service at the Federal level and by a State education agency at the state level. We will be looking at the statistics of the National Lunch Program for five local schools, and compare the number of students enrolled in the districts and the percentage that are receiving free or discounted meals at school. Additionally, the requirements to be eligible to participate in the program, as well as the reimbursement the school…show more content…
All students in these schools may participate in the program, but must meet certain criteria to qualify for free meals, reduced price meals. The basis of eligibility for free and reduced-price meals are determined one of four ways. The first is Categorial eligibility which means that all fall into that category will receive free school meals. A child in this category is in foster care, Head Start, homeless, migrants or a household who is receiving SNAP, FDPIR (Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations) or TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits and are automatically eligible for free lunches (FRAC). Second, Direct Certification which means the children living in households that receive SNAP/Food Stamp benefits are automatically eligible for free lunches and no application is required. Third, Community eligibility is the newest option for allowing schools with high percentages of low-income children to provide free lunches to all students without requiring school meal applications. Schools can use this option if they have 40 percent or more students directly certified for free meals. This option will be available in New York school districts in the 2012-2013 school year (FRAC). Forth, Income Based Eligibility is for when a child is not categorically eligible. The child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meals would be based on household income. These households must fill out the
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