National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

Background and Development

Last Modified: 01/24/2014

By Gordon W. Gunderson 1

School food service programs such as we have in 1971 did not just happen overnight nor even during the past decade. Preceding today's programs is a long history of more than a hundred years of development, of testing and evaluating, and of constant research to provide the best in nutrition, nutrition education, and food service for the nation's millions of children in school.

Early European Experience
Early Programs in the United States
State Legislation and Programs
Early Federal Aid
National School Lunch Act Approved
Child Nutrition Act of 1966
Public Concern
Nutrition, Behavior, and Learning
Technical Developments in School Food Service
Congressional Action
School Milk Programs

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1 Gordon W. Gunderson, a native of Wisconsin, was elected in the fall of 1939 to represent the U S Department of Agriculture to supervise its program in Wisconsin of distributing donated commodities to establish school lunch programs During World War II his duties also included the administration of war food programs in the State. Upon passage of the National School Lunch Act in 1946 he was elected to administrate the school lunch program for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. He was also the administrator of the commodity distribution program for schools, institutions, needy households, summer camp, and other eligible outlets. The Special Milk Program was inaugurated in 1954 and was added to his supervision. Mr Gunderson retired on Dec. 31, 1969 after serving over 30 years in the development and expansion of the school food service program in Wisconsin