Background Paper

No. 72

No Free Lunch? Current Challenges Facing the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs
December 11, 2009


Eileen Salinsky, Consultant


This background paper describes important characteristics of the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, reviews U.S. Department of Agriculture rules regarding the nutritional content of school meals, and examines compliance with current nutrition standards. It also considers the dietary status and obesity risk of meal program participants, discusses proposed improvements to nutritional standards and meal requirements, and highlights key legislative issues.

Related Materials

A companion paper "Got Junk? The Federal Role in Regulating 'Competitive' Foods" (Issue Brief No. 835, December 11, 2009) explores proposals to increase federal regulation of competitive foods.

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