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Since its inception in 1946, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) has met the needs of students' health and well-being by providing nutritionally balanced, low-cost and free lunches every school day. For too many students, school lunch is their only hot meal of the day. Despite extensive efforts to boost consumption of healthy school meals, lunch participation continues to decline. According to USDA's school lunch participation statistics, as many as 2 million fewer students have chosen lunch each day since 2012. This is a notable and unfortunate loss, resulting in fewer students eating lunch and getting the nutrition they need to support obesity prevention and their physical, intellectual and emotional health.
While breakfast participation continues to increase, recent data reveal a slowing of participation in school breakfast. School meals are a key factor in student attendance and success at school. The Foundation seeks to accomplish the goal through four areas of emphasis: