Issue Brief

Helping School Meals Make the Grade

The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs provide meals to tens of millions of children each day, accounting for up to one-half of those students' daily calories. However, more than 90 percent of schools serve meals that do not even meet the minimum national school meal standards, which were established  in 1995 and do not reflect current nutrition science. Research shows that students who do not have reliable, healthy meals in kindergarten are noticeably behind their peers in reading and math by the third grade. Improving the standards for school meals will help millions of kids get the nutrients they need to grow, learn and succeed.

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