The Intersection of Women’s History and School Meal Programs

Posted by Cindy Long, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service in

Food and Nutrition

Mar 28, 2022

A hot mid-morning lunch in school at Ashwood Plantations, South Carolina

The National School Lunch Program supplies nutritious meals to about 30 million kids every day within the U.S. Such success wouldn’t have been doable with out the early efforts and persevering with contributions of girls. For over a century, girls have led the best way in beginning packages that present wholesome meals to kids from underserved communities. And what began as native efforts have grown into staple, federal packages.

At the flip of the century, America noticed a big inflow of immigrants and an rising industrial workforce. These populations had been typically impoverished and undernourished, inspiring the formation of organizations to supply nutritious meals to kids. In 1894, the Starr Center Association in Philadelphia started serving penny lunches. Then in 1908, the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union started offering sizzling lunches to college students in Boston. At the forefront of these organizations had been the ladies who cooked and served the meals. These girls additionally taught kids the significance of vitamin and selecting wholesome meals. The lunch program had an excellent influence, as lecturers discovered that the meals supplied different bodily and psychological advantages to college students, together with elevated attentiveness. The success led to related packages in different cities and rural America.

Students continued to indicate enhancements because of this of college meals, and by the Thirties, 15 states had carried out related packages. During the Great Depression, the New Deal expanded college meals on the federal stage and employed practically 7,500 girls. Finally, in 1946, Congress handed the National School Lunch Act, which gave everlasting authorization to high school lunch packages.

To this present day, these packages present American kids with wholesome meals, selling vitamin safety. Through their efforts, girls are an integral half of the historical past of college meal packages. This Women’s History Month we honor the numerous girls who’ve supplied vitamin safety to kids.

Food and Nutrition

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