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Lunch Programs

They are now considered a fundamental part of the school day, but school lunch and other meal programs have been offered on a national scale only since 1946. With growing attention to the link between nutrition, health, and learning, they are increasingly becoming a part of the efforts to improve education outcomes for students. This entry describes the gradual development of school lunch programs, their links to helping poor children, and the recent concern with nutrition.

Early Programs

School meal programs have been in existence since the 1790s, when the first programs were started in Europe; the first programs in the United States began in the 1890s. What all of these early programs had in common was the desire to provide poor and malnourished children with at ...

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