Nutrition & School Lunch

Elementary school girl in school cafeteria.
SDI Productions/E+
Student Well-Being From Our Research Center COVID Precautions in the Cafeteria? 1 in 5 Educators Say Schools 'Not Doing Anything'
An EdWeek Research Center survey finds wide variation in what schools are doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during mealtimes.
Evie Blad, January 14, 2022
5 min read
Second grader Amado Soto eats his lunch socially distanced from his fellow students in the cafeteria at Perez Elementary School during the coronavirus pandemic on Dec. 3, 2020, in Brownsville, Texas.
Second grader Amado Soto eats lunch socially distanced from his fellow students at Perez Elementary School in December.
Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald via AP
Education Funding Citing Supply Chain Issues, Inflation, USDA Boosts Funding for School Meals
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will boost reimbursements for school lunches as districts face COVID-related challenges.
Evie Blad, January 10, 2022
2 min read
Stacked Red Cafeteria trays in a nearly empty lunch room.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Education Funding More Federal Aid Is Coming for Schools Struggling to Buy Food Due to Supply-Chain Crisis
The $1.5 billion USDA infusion is the second in several months to help schools purchase food amid shortages and price increases.
Arianna Prothero, December 20, 2021
2 min read
Seminole County, Fla., deputies remove a parent from a school board meeting during a heated discussion about mask mandates in September.
Seminole County, Fla., deputies remove a parent from a school board meeting during a heated discussion about mask mandates in September.
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP
School & District Management From Our Research Center Just How Widespread Are the Threats to Educators Over COVID Policies?
An EdWeek Research Center survey asked district and school leaders if they, or anyone on their staff, had faced threats.

Holly Kurtz, November 11, 2021
3 min read
Illustration of a child looking into an empty refrigerator.
iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being Opinion I Lived Off School Lunches as a Kid. Here’s How to Make the Program Better
It will take more than school meal programs to end food insecurity for students and their families.
Shari Walker, October 4, 2021
4 min read
Empty school cafeteria
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Education Funding Feds Pump $1.5 Billion Extra Toward Schools to Address Cafeteria Food Shortage
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced funds to help schools more easily purchase U.S.-grown foods amid widespread supply shortages.
Mark Lieberman, September 29, 2021
1 min read
Stacked Red Cafeteria trays in a nearly empty lunch room.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Student Well-Being Students Are Going Hungry, Cafeteria Staffing Is a Mess. Here’s Why
Supply chain shortages, COVID-19 fears, and complicated virus protection protocols are causing financial and logistical headaches in cafeterias.
Mark Lieberman, September 28, 2021
4 min read
Food service assistant Brenda Bartee, rear, gives students breakfast, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, during the first day of school at Washington Elementary School in Riviera Beach, Fla.
Food service assistant Brenda Bartee, rear, gives students breakfast, last month on the first day of school at Washington Elementary School in Riviera Beach, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal How a Big Federal Spending Package Could Affect School Meals and Student Poverty Counts
Legislation to expand access to free school meals highlights a persistent concern: how to improve the ways we identify students in poverty.
Andrew Ujifusa, September 23, 2021
6 min read
Kejuan Turner, 8, eats a burger from a free bagged lunch provided by the Jefferson County School District on the back of his mother's truck with his brother, Kendrell, 9, outside their home in Fayette, Miss.
Kejuan Turner, 8, eats a burger from a free bagged lunch provided by the Jefferson County school district on the back of his mother's truck with his brother, Kendrell, 9, outside their home in Fayette, Miss., in March.
Leah Willingham/AP
Student Well-Being The Pandemic Brought Universal Free School Meals. Will They Stay?
Relaxed rules during the COVID-19 pandemic have allowed schools to serve universal free meals. Some in Congress want to make that permanent.
Evie Blad, June 1, 2021
8 min read
Jefferson County Elementary School children sit at desks and eat their school-supplied breakfasts in Fayette, Miss., on March 3, 2021. As one of the most food insecure counties in the United States, many families and their children have come to depend on these meals as their only means of daily sustenance.
Jefferson County Elementary School children sit at desks and eat their school-supplied breakfasts in Fayette, Miss., on March 3, 2021. As one of the most food insecure counties in the United States, many families and their children have come to depend on these meals as their only means of daily sustenance.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
Student Well-Being Citing Pandemic, USDA Waives School Meal Regulations Through June 2022
The USDA has extended regulatory waivers that will allow schools to more easily serve free meals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evie Blad, April 20, 2021
2 min read
Marilyn Linares, a bus driver with the Montgomery County School District, helps load a bus with bags of food to be donated to residents on July 10, 2020, in Derwood, Md.
Marilyn Linares, a bus driver with the Montgomery County School District, helps load a bus with bags of food on July 10, 2020, in Derwood, Md.
Julio Cortez/AP
Federal USDA Extends Free Universal School Meal Service for Children Through the Summer
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended waivers of some school meal rules through Sept. 30, giving schools more flexibility to feed children through summer.
Evie Blad, March 10, 2021
1 min read
A sign advertises a program that allows food stamp recipients to use their EBT cards to shop at a farmer's market in Topsham, Maine on March 17, 2017.
Food stamps can be used in some farmers' markets, as at this one in Topsham, Maine. New research shows a link between timing of the aid and student performance on key tests.
Robert F. Bukaty/AP
Assessment Timing of Food Stamps Can Affect Students' Test Scores, Study Finds
Hungry students don't test as well, say researchers who found a link between food stamp disbursements and students' exam scores.
Stephen Sawchuk, February 19, 2021
5 min read
Elementary students in Brownsville, Texas, eat a socially distanced lunch in the school cafeteria. Experts say there are ways to mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19 even when kids take their masks off to eat.
Elementary students in Brownsville, Texas, eat a socially distanced lunch in the school cafeteria. Experts say there are ways to mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19 when kids take their masks off to eat.
Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald via AP
School & District Management Is Lunchtime the 'Weak Link' in School Reopening Plans?
It's risky when students are inside and unmasked, experts say. Here are five ways to mitigate that risk and make in-school meals safer.
Sarah Schwartz, February 18, 2021
11 min read
The Washington family receives free meals at Dillard High School amid the virus outbreak and school closings on March 16, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
A family receives free meals at Dillard High School amid the coronavirus outbreak and school closings on March 16, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Brynn Anderson/AP
Federal Biden Signs Executive Order to Boost Food Benefits for Children Missing School Meals
The order is designed to extend nutritional benefits that his administration says would benefit children.
Andrew Ujifusa, January 22, 2021
2 min read