Participation of Negro children in school lunch programs. Page: 4
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THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
DESERVES OUR SUPPORT
By Miss Patsy Graves
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D. C.
For many years it was the custom for
children to take lunches to school in a
half-gallon bucket or a brown paper sack.
Bread, molasses, a cold potato, sometimes
a piece of fried meat was too often the
noonday meal. Instead of that cold lunch,
over six million children throughout the
United States now get a well-balanced hot
lunch through the National School Lunch
The National School Lunch Program is
a joint endeavor between the Federal Government
and your own State Government.
Legislation, effective June 1946, placed
the program on a permanent basis. Each
year the Congress of the United States
authorizes an appropriation for school
lunches that is matched by the States.
State and county school boards of education
are responsible for carrying out the
program under the direction of the Production
and Marketing Administration of the
United States Department of Agriculture.
Many other agencies and individuals,
especially the parent-teacher association,
assist the school board in this very important
job. In addition to the foods
purchased specifically for the program,
the Department of Agriculture makes available
from time to time what we term "surplus"
foods. This widens the market outlet
for farm products, and thus the School
Lunch Program helps the farmer. Most of
the food used is bought in local communities.
This creates a local market for
many products that farm people raise, such
as vegetables, fruits, eggs, and milk.
Every person, young and old, needs a
daily supply of good, wholesome food which
should be made up of a variety, such as
milk and milk products;.meat, poultry,
fish, and eggs; leafy, green, and yellow
vegetables; potatoes and other vegetables;
bread and cereals; citrus fruits and tomatoes;
some fats and sweets.
Parents of farm children need to be
very sure about a daily food supply made
up of the items listed above, and should
produce as much of their own food as possible
in order to have abundant supplies
every day throughout the year. Farm boys
and girls must help with the work at home
and on the farm; they often walk long distances
or make bus trips of many miles.
They should always have a hot breakfast
before leaving home, a nourishing school
lunch, and a good dinner.
Improperly fed children may have
small, poorly developed bodies with weak,
flabby muscles; poorly formed teeth with
bleeding gums and many other physical defects
as a result of malnutrition. They
are irritable, tire easily, are subject to
stomach upsets, susceptible to colds, and
other diseases. Worst of all, such children
cannot learn easily. A poorly nourished
child will not 'hunger and thirst
Our schools need the interest and
support of the entire community in setting
up and maintaining the lunch program. In
the Farmers Home Administration, we urge
our borrower families to give every assistance
possible to the promotion of this
worth-while activity. We work very closely
with the family living problems of
rural families. One of the most important
aims of our family living program is to
encourage increased production, use, and
conservation of adequate year-round supplies
It is possible for even a one-room
school to have the School Lunch Program,
provided the teacher and parents desire
the benefits of such a program for their
children. This means work for everyone.
School and health authorities must be contacted.
Funds for equipment and supplies
are usually raised through the county
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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/m1/6/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.