“Every Child Needs a Good School Lunch.” 1944. War Food Administration. Propaganda Poster Collection, Washington State University Digital Archive.

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provided subsidies to school districts to provide free meals to all children. To receive the funds, school districts had to offer meals to poor children for free or reduced prices that conformed to the “recommended daily allowances” of the “Basic 7.” 

Where is it located in the Museum?
Schoolchildren stand in line for lunch in Georgia, circa 1955. Photo by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia Collection, put246.

Bowing to southern segregationists, the NSLP allowed state and local governments to impose their own requirements for funding, allowing for discrimination and enabling districts where racial segregation prevailed to deny resources to schools with large numbers of students of color. These racialized barriers to access endured for decades. 

Where is it located in the Museum?

How did the National School Lunch Program work?