Reduced-price meal (or reduced-price breakfast, lunch, supper, snack) is a term used in the US to describe a federally reimbursable meal (or snack) served to a child who applies for and qualifies because the family’s income is between 130 and 185 percent of the federal poverty threshold. Schools may not charge more than 40¢ for reduced-price lunches, nor more than 30¢ for reduced-price breakfasts.
A major ignored issue is waste by students of tax payer funded meals. From the National Institute of Health.
Plate waste was estimated from 899 lunch trays; 535 elementary- and 364 middle-school students. Only 45 % of elementary- and 34 % middle-school students selected a vegetable. Elementary-school students wasted more than a third of grain, fruit and vegetable menu items. Middle-school students left nearly 50 % of fresh fruit, 37 % of canned fruit and nearly a third of vegetables unconsumed. Less than half of the students met the national meal standards for vitamins A and C, or Fe.
Many students get few meals other than the ones provided by the school, not only putting them at risk of starvation, but also reducing their attentiveness in the class room.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the Congressional Research Service document "Report for Congress: Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws, 2005 Edition" by Jasper Womach.