School lunch

School Nutrition

Guidance, policy updates and actionable resources for schools & districts focused on nutritional standards and access to school meals.


AASA strongly supports the enactment of comprehensive services and programs that encourage children to be healthy. Research demonstrates that learning is enhanced when children feel safe and have their physical, mental and social and emotional needs met in a healthy school environment. This includes access to healthy foods. In some districts, public schools are the lifeline for children to have access to substantial and healthy meals that they may be lacking at home. Through the COVID-19 pandemic and the USDA authorization of Universal School Meals, we were able to see what student success looks like without hunger hindering a student's ability to learn.

What did we observe through access to healthy school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Reduction in school lunch debt shaming
  • Districts ability to afford quality ingredients for scratch cooking
  • Alleviated administrative burden on processing Free and Reduced Price Meal (FRPM) applications
  • Increase in overall student happiness

  AASA's Position & Priorities

The guiding principles for federal education policy stem from equity and the important role the federal government stands to play in creating equitable learning opportunities for all students. AASA is committed to advocating for better access to school meals and reasonable nutrition standards for students in the public school system.

AASA's priorities are to:

  • Ensure that licensing and certification requirements for school nutrition workers are a state responsibility
  • Support universal school meals on the contingency that such policies do no harm to eligibility for and enrollment in existing federal funding streams serving schools, and fully cover costs associated with the program
  • Refrain from increasing the administrative burden related to nutrition eligibility verification

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  Additional Resources

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