Nearly 49 million Americans—one in five children—live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. Students who don’t have enough to eat are likely to get sick more often, do not perform as well in school and are less likely to graduate from high school and go on to college.
Federal nutrition programs play a critical role in helping students build healthy minds and bodies. The National School Breakfast and School Lunch Programs, offered during the school year, are provided to students most in need at free or reduced costs. Over the summer the USDA Summer Meals Program provides nutritious, no-cost meals when school is not in session.
These meals, when eaten, provide students with balanced nutrition and the majority of calories needed every day to grow and thrive.