Study Shows School Lunch Programs May Help Break Poverty Cycle

A new study published online in the journal Pediatrics found that food insecurity is associated with poor academic achievement in adolescents. However, when these adolescents received school-based food supplementation programs (like free and reduced-price lunch), they performed the same as their peers who were not living in food-insecure households. The authors write that their results suggest that “school food assistant or some aspect of it may well help adolescents thrive during the secondary school years and may be a part of a successful poverty-reduction strategy.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 14.7% of households were food insecure at least some time during 2009–the highest recorded¬† rate of food insecurity since 1995 when the first national food security survey was conducted.

For more information: