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We're speaking up for our students and public schools. Visit our Action Center to find out what you can do.
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Issue Explainer

Child Nutrition

Students need healthy, nutritious school meals that are free to all and prepare them for learning.
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Published: 12/02/2021

One out of six children lacks consistent access to the food needed for fueling their bodies and minds. Child nutrition programs are important in fighting child hunger.

When students participate in school meals programs, their behavior, comprehension, and attendance improve. The meals children receive prepare them for learning and shape their food choices and health outcomes as adults.

Help students get the healthy meals they need. Ask Congress to fund free school meals for all students, hands-on training and professional development for school food-service staff, and up-to-date equipment for school kitchens. 

Bills in Congress

Learn NEA's position on pending legislation related to public education, and take action to protect our schools

Letters & Testimony

NEA speaks up for the rights of students. Browse recent messages to Congressional leadership, and add your voice.

Our History of Fighting for Child Nutrition

1946

School Lunch Program Esablished

President Truman signs the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, providing low-cost or free school lunch meals to qualified students through subsidies to schools.
1966

School Meals now Include Breakfast

President Johnson signs the Child Nutrition Act, building on the National School Lunch Act and creating the School Breakfast Program.
1998

Expanded the Federal Subsidies

President Clinton signs the William Goodling Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, extending authorizations for child nutrition programs.
2004

Tackling Nutrition and Physical Activity

President George W. Bush signs the Child Nutrition and Women Infants and Children Reauthorization Act of 2004, which requires school districts with federally funded school meal programs to have policies addressing nutrition and physical activity.
2010

Making School Meals Healthier, More Available

President Obama signs the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which funds child nutrition programs, sets new nutrition standards for schools, and creates the Community Eligibility Provision, allowing all students in certain high-poverty schools to eat meals at no charge.
We're speaking up for our students and public schools. Visit our Action Center to find out what you can do.

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Speak Up For Students and Public Schools

When we act together and lift our voices together in unison, we can improve the lives of children.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.