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Program Analysis Paper

1354 words - 6 pages

Federal school nutrition programs are beneficial pieces of legislation that provide low cost or free meals to poor children. An added benefit to these programs is that they eliminate surpluses of crops by distributing these surpluses into meals for children. In this way, the government subsidized farms who provide the crops can always keep food prices high. ("Federal school nutrition," 2013) The main program that provides meals to children is the National School Lunch Act. The National School Lunch Act was enacted in 1946 because during the Great Depression many farmers were losing money and food was piling up and spoiling because nobody would buy it. President Truman signed into law The National School Lunch Act so the government could buy this excess food and distribute it to children who were hungry and lacking nutrition. The National School Lunch Act aided in creating set times for lunch in public schools and also employed women to serve lunches to children aka “lunch ladies.” The 1946 act forced states to pay part of the cost for these meals and the Federal government would pay for the rest. The National School Lunch Act originally only supplied lunches to children but it has been expanded many times including the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 which gave free or reduced price milk to children and the Special Food Service Program for Children of 1968 which provided summer meals as well as meals during school-time. Nowadays, breakfast, milk, after-school snacks, and summer meals are all included for children under the National School Lunch Act.(Gill)
The National School Lunch Act serves all children who go to school (public, private, etc.) and fall under a certain income bracket. Students whose income falls below 130 percent of the national poverty line are eligible for free meals and students whose income falls below 185 percent of the poverty line are eligible for reduced price meals at 40 cents a meal. ("School meal eligibility," ) The eligibility for receiving free or reduced meals is quite inclusive. 130 percent of the current national poverty line is an income of $52,900. 185 percent of the current national poverty line is $65,550. According to 2010 statistics, 60-80 percent of American children would be eligible for free or reduced meals. (Domhoff, 2013) The target for free or reduced meals is poor children but the income bracket to gain free or reduced meals is so wide that it includes most American children. This allows most children to be equal in terms of what they are eating in school. The ability to get into the free or reduced meal program is not terribly difficult either. There are three ways to enroll in the reduced meal program. There is Direct Certification where children who are enrolled in certain other government programs or agencies such as foster care, Head Start, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) are automatically eligible for free or reduced meals. Secondly, some states offer Community...

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