Why School Meals Matter

Why School Meals Matter
Lunch Tray

One critical element to healthy children and academic success is ensuring students have access to healthy food.  Research shows a balanced diet fuels students’ minds and bodies to ensure they show up to school ready to learn.  For many of America’s youth, school is the primary source of consistent, balanced nutrition.  While at school they can consume up to 50% of the daily caloric intake.

The 2021 Feeding America childhood hunger data estimates that 1 in 6 children live in food-insecure households.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) strives to fill the hunger gap by providing low-cost or free school meals through the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).  Any student may participate in school meal programs.  These programs provide a healthful balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, and protein foods, which improves not only nutrition security, but also social-emotional health, academic performance, and attendance.  This year, all students in California may receive a free breakfast and free lunch.  At Challenger, breakfast is served between 8:00-8:10 AM and lunch is during the student's designated lunch period.  

What is School Breakfast? video: English     Spanish

What is School Lunch? video: English     Spanish

SDUSD Food and Nutrition Department

School Menus

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