What is the school lunch program, and how do children qualify for it?
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. The program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. Any child at a participating school may purchase a meal through the National School Lunch Program. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free meals. Those with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price meals, for which students can be charged no more than 40 cents.