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National School Lunch Program

Posted: Friday, August 11, 2000

The National School Lunch Program, created by Congress about 50 years ago, provides cash reimbursements to schools to provide nutritious meals to children.

More than 15 million children from low-income homes participate in the program daily. These children, in more than 93,000 schools, receive free or reduced-price lunches.

To be eligible for a reduced-price meal in the program, the household income must be below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. In households with income that fall below 130 percent of the poverty level, the children can receive free meals. Children whose families receive food stamps are eligible for free meals.

All public and non-profit private schools and all residential child care institutions can participate in the School Breakfast Program.

Parents should apply to the school in order to be considered for these programs.



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