This study provides national estimates of the food acquisitions of public unified school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. It describes the type, quantity, and value of foods purchased by public school districts and the relative importance of foods donated to these school districts by the USDA,
The National School Lunch Program operates in over 94,000 schools and institutions. More than 26 million children receive meals through the program on any given day; about half of these meals are provided free of charge. The School Breakfast Program operates in approximately two-thirds of the schools and institutions that offer the NSLP, most commonly in schools that serve large numbers of economically disadvantaged children.
The analysis conducted in this study builds on these two strands of the literature and uses three alternate definitions of breakfast: Consumption of any food or beverage. Breakfast intake of food energy greater than 10 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Consumption of foods from at least two of five main food groups and intake of food energy greater than 10 percent of the RDA.
The National School Lunch Act requires that schools that are participating in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs claim reimbursements only for lunches or breakfasts which meet the nutrition standards of the National School Lunch Act, including compliance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.