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.

Latest News

NSLW23 resources web story
Holidays & Celebrations, Ideas & Inspiration, National School Lunch Week, SNA News

Power Up your National School Lunch Week with SNA Resources

September 20, 2023

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School Nutrition Magazine

Bonus Web Content

Chili With a Cinnamon Roll: All About this Midwestern Classic

November 15, 2022

“Warm Up to Chilis, Soups and Stews,” by Patricia Fitzgerald with Kelsey Casselbury, featured in the November/December 2022 issue of School Nutrition does a deep dive into those cold-weather classics, but saved this shoutout to a somewhat unusual combo—chili served with a cinnamon roll…

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Food Focus

Warm Up to Chilis, Soups and Stews

November 4, 2022

‘Tis the season for hearty entrées that deliver classic comfort. Get your ladles ready! It’s the time of year when…

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The Café Caters

November 4, 2022

A deep dive into one school nutrition department’s decision to launch a district-wide catering program. Why and how you might…

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