National School Lunch Program (NSLP)Harry S Truman signing school lunch act 1946

Missouri's own President Harry S. Truman signed the National School Lunch Act on June 4, 1946. Though school food service began long before 1946, the Act authorized the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The legislation came in response to claims that many American men had been rejected for World War II military service because of diet-related health problems. The federally assisted meal program was established as "a measure of national security, to safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation's children and to encourage the domestic consumption of nutritious agricultural commodities."

The National School Lunch Act has since been amended numerous times. Public and nonprofit private schools and residential childcare institutions may participate in the NSLP. This program also offers after school snacks in sites that meet eligibility requirements. The NSLP is celebrated each year during National School Lunch Week in October.

School Breakfast Program (SBP)

On October 11, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Child Nutrition Act of 1966. The Act established the School Breakfast Program (SBP). The SBP is a federally assisted meal program that provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free breakfasts to children in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. President Johnson remarked during the signing of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, "good nutrition is essential to good learning." Appropriately, this Act was signed during National School Lunch Week. The SBP is celebrated annually during National School Breakfast Week in March.