In 2012, 16 million children “lacked consistent access to adequate food”. The National School Lunch Program ensures nutrition for low-income students. NSLP provides free or reduced price lunches that are no more than 40 cent per meal. But it was found that “approximately 40% of children eligible for free or reduced-price lunch did not receive these benefits” (Huang et al. 2166).This is because of the lack of knowledge of the program, complicated application, and the stigma connected to using the services. The child who participate in this program experience higher food insufficiency rates in June and July when compared to the rates in January through May, while they are in school. Shockingly, the students also experience higher food insufficiency rates in September and October. States have partnered with schools to provided summer food programs like the Summer Food Service Programs and the NSLP Summer Seamless Option. This ensures that the students can continue to receive the nutrition they need when school is out for summer.But because of budget cuts, they have had to serve at a much lower rate. Efforts can be made, whether it is through policy or volunteer work, to help expand services for the children who need it.
Speaking of lunches, farm-to-school programs can be used to improve the quality of the meals all students receive. Schools should play a role in improve a child’s dietary habits. Farm-to-school programs can improve a child’s diet by increasing the access to fruits and vegetables without putting a dent in the school’s food budget. Farm-to-school programs is beneficial to the farms, the school’s budget, and the student’s health.