Free School Meals: When the Feds Step Back, States Step Up

Young girl with long dark hair in a pink barrette holds a red school lunch tray with a plate of food as she exits the cafeteria line
  • They improve physical health, mental wellbeing, and academic performance.
  • Students who eat school meals every day have better diets than students who don’t; they eat more fruits, vegetables, fiber, and whole grains.
  • With school meals, students’ risk of diet-related disease and health care costs both drop.
  • When everyone is eligible for free school meals, the stigma and shame of getting free lunch disappears.
  • When meals are free to all, participation in the program increases.
  • The costs that schools pay per meal also drop and quality improves because schools can realize larger bulk discounts.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
David Sandman

David Sandman

David Sandman, Ph.D., is President and CEO of the New York Health Foundation.