The National School Lunch Program is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, and many of the kitchens in participating schools are nearly as old. U.S. Department of Agriculture kitchen equipment grants have helped schools update their facilities and infrastructure, allowing them to serve healthier foods and improve meal programs for students.
The Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project—a joint initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—studied 19 schools to explore the effects of this federal funding on students and meal programs around the country. The issue brief captures the overarching findings of this research, and the individual school case studies, which will be released in batches over the course of this year, examine the extraordinary changes that a single piece of new equipment can have on meal programs and student nutrition.
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Eighty-six percent of schools in the United States are serving healthy lunches, but many could do so more effectively and at less cost if they had updated equipment and infrastructure.
Case studies show how federal investments help schools serve healthier meals