Presidential Proclamation: National School Lunch Week

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“No child should have to learn on an empty stomach,” is the opening line of the Presidential Proclamation in which President Obama declared the week of October 10 through 16, 2010, as National School Lunch Week. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP), a federally assisted meal program that operates in schools and child care institutions, is the largest of the Child Nutrition Programs administered by the United States Department of Agriculture. Each year, to raise awareness of the importance of the National School Lunch Program, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) helps schools celebrate with an official theme that changes every year. This year’s theme is “School Lunch – What’s on Your Tray?” By visiting www.WhatsOnYourTray.org students can take a personality quiz to reveal which of the site’s cool cartoon characters fit their personality and what healthy foods are best to keep them energized throughout the school day. This interactive campaign aims to inspire students to get excited about healthy school lunch choices.

The National School Lunch Program prevents hunger for 31 million students daily and promotes education by enabling children to have access to nutritiously balanced and affordable meals at school. The Congress, by joint resolution of October 9, 1962 (Public Law 87-780), as amended, has designated the week beginning on the second Sunday in October each year as "National School Lunch Week," and has requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

The Children's Aid Society of New York introduced many progressive programs in its sites that today are commonplace. In 1853, Children’s Aid started its free school lunch program for destitute children, the only one of its kind in the United States at that time.