Participation of Negro children in school lunch programs. Page: 3
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Miss Patsy Graves.
A BRIEF HISTORY
OF THE SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
Although the first school lunch program
in the United States dates back to
1894, the movement did not spread until
the depression of the 1930's. In 1935
pyramiding surpluses of food were bankrupting
the farmer, while thousands of
children were going to school hungry every
day. That was the year the Congress passed
Public Law No. 320. Section 32 of this
law authorized the use of an amount of
money equal to 30 percent of the yearly
customs receipts for the development of
new outlets for farm products. It authorized
use of Section 32 funds to buy surplus
farm commodities and distribute them
outside normal channels of trade. These
foods, supplied by the Department of Agriculture,
helped a great deal in expanding
the school lunch program. The diversion
of farm commodities for the feeding of
hungry school children was also important
to the farmers of our country. Doctors
and nutritionists were enthusiastic over
the school lunch plan as an effective instrument
for raising national nutritional
levels. Teachers pointed out that the
school lunch helped to get value received
for the money spent on education, because
well-nourished children are more alert,
energetic, and well-behaved. Farmers
recognized that besides providing a ready
outlet for surpluses, the program expanded
the market for farm products by raising
There is perhaps no better comment on
the value of the School Lunch Program to
both school children and farmers than that
made by President Truman when he signed
the National School Lunch Act, on June 6,
1946. "No Nation", said the President,
"is any healthier than its children, or
more prosperous than its farmers. In the
National School Lunch Act, the Congress
has contributed immeasurably to the welfare
of our farmers and the health of our
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United States. Department of Agriculture. Production and Marketing Administration. Participation of Negro children in school lunch programs., book, June 1951; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6225/m1/5/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.