Schools & Child Nutrition USDA Foods

Summer Food Banner

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP), established under the National School Lunch Act in 1946, is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. Every school day the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) serves nutritious meals to more than 28 million low-income children nationwide.

    • In addition to financial assistance, the program provides donated commodity foods to help reduce lunch program costs. For children: NSLP provides nutritious meals that contain 1/3 of the Recommended Dietary Allowance of necessary nutrients.
    • For parents: The program offers a convenient method of providing a nutritionally balanced lunch at the lowest possible price.
    • For schools: The program enhances children's learning abilities by contributing to their physical and mental well being. Studies have shown that children whose nutritional needs are met have fewer attendance and discipline problems and are more attentive in class.

    The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is the sister program to the NSLP. Just because the school year may have ended, the need for good nutrition for school-age children hasn't. The SFSP provides good, nutritious food that's "in" when school is "out." This program was created to ensure that children in low-income areas could continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations when they do not have access to school lunch or breakfast.