Step behind the serving line to catch a glimpse of modern-day school meals, and learn about the people who help ensure that America’s students are well-fed and poised for academic success.

From nutrition requirements and statistics to school nutrition success stories and national campaigns, this is everything you need to know about our nation’s school meal programs.


Key Facts

School Nutrition Standards

To receive federal reimbursements, school meals are required to meet strict nutrition standards, offering a balance of lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low- or fat-free milk.

School Meal Statistics

Nearly 30 million students eat school lunch every day. Get more statistics regarding the nation’s school meals programs.

The People Behind School Meals


School Nutrition Success Stories

Learn how school nutrition professionals and meal programs have made a difference in the lives of America’s students.


School Nutrition Professionals

From chefs to nutritionists and industry partners to state agencies, learn more about the people who collaborate to ensure school meal programs thrive.

Annual Observances

National School Lunch Week

School lunches are worth celebrating! Learn more about National School Lunch Week (NSLW), commemorated annually in October.

National School Breakfast Week

National School Breakfast Week (NSBW), celebrated annually in March, honors the importance of a nutritious morning meal in fueling students for success.

School Lunch Hero Day

Recognize the impact of school nutrition professionals on School Lunch Hero Day (SLHD), occurring annually on the first Friday of May.

School Nutrition Magazine

Bonus Web Content

Study Reveals Healthy School Lunches Reduce Childhood Obesity

March 23, 2023

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010 changed school nutrition standards significantly, and a recently published study reveals it…

Read More
Bonus Web Content

Peanut and Tree Nut Allergies: Understanding the Differences

March 21, 2023

Food allergies affect millions of people worldwide, and the “Big Nine” allergens are responsible for 90% of food allergies in the United States. Two of those nine, peanut and tree nut allergies sound similar—but they are not the same. Understanding the differences between peanut and tree nut allergies can help you help students manage their allergies and keep your school cafeteria safe for all.

Read More
Bonus Web Content

Study Finds Children Aren’t Eating Enough Fruits or Veggies

March 15, 2023

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet—but it turns out that kids might not be…

Read More