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Abstract

This research examined the relationship between food insecurity, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and academic achievement in Georgia’s public school system. Georgia is located in the southern U.S. states, where food insecurity has been particularly prevalent. A multilevel Poisson generalized linear model was used to examine the relationship between food insecurity and academic achievement. Findings confirm a strong inverse relationship between food insecurity, as exhibited by participation in the National School Lunch Program, and academic achievement for elementary-age children. The strength of the relationship between food insecurity and academic achievement was different for the younger, elementary-age students (fifth grade) than for the older, middle school-age (eighth grade) students, a key distinction between this study and other research.

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