USDA’s child nutrition programs (National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program) have as goals to improve food security and provide children with a regular source of nutritious meals. In this report, we present updated statistics on food insecurity among school-age children from the Food Security Supplement to the Current Population Survey for 2014 and 2015. We then summarize recent research on the effects of child nutrition programs on children’s food security and diets and discuss recent developments in nutrition assistance for school-age children. Studies that account for the greater likelihood of participation in these programs among children from food-insecure households find that school meal programs reduce food insecurity among children. Child nutrition programs also contribute to diet quality and academic performance for children from low-income and food-insecure households.


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