Reduced-price meal is a term used in the United States to describe a federally reimbursable meal, or snack, served to a qualified child when the family of the child's income is between 130 and 185 percent of the US federal poverty threshold. Schools may not charge more than US$0.40 for reduced-price lunches, nor more than US$0.30 for reduced-price breakfasts.
Potential effectiveness of the program has been reduced by students' selective consumption of meal servings. In 2014 the journal Public Health Nutrition wrote: "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 [iron]."
- This article incorporates public domain material from the Congressional Research Service document: Jasper Womach. "Report for Congress: Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws, 2005 Edition" (PDF).