Nutrition - American Education
In education, the proper feeding and nourishment of children and adolescents. The vast majority of school-aged American children report having diets high in fats and sugar, while an estimated 10 million American children, or nearly 16% of the population under 18 years old, suffer from malnutrition. Because the vast majority live in dysfunctional homes and in families living below the poverty level, Congress passed the National School Lunch Act in 1946 to guarantee lunch for every American child in school. Although all public schools must provide students with lunch, they do not necessarily have to participate in the NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM. Schools that do participate are required to provide lunches that meet specific federal government nutritional requirements, including a half-pint of milk; two ounces of lean meat, poultry, fish or alternative food; vegetables and fruit; bread and one teaspoon of butter or margarine. Costs of the program are defrayed to some extent by state aid and fees charged to parents who can afford them, but the vast majority of the cost is financed by about $10 billion a year in federal funds.
In 1966, the School Lunch Program was expanded with passage of the Child Nutrition Act to provide breakfasts for economically deprived children who might not otherwise obtain enough food at home before they left for school. Twice amended in the 1970s, the Child Nutrition Act also provided funds to encourage milk consumption by children in nonprofit schools, child-care centers, nursery schools, settlement houses, summer camps and similar nonprofit institutions.