School lunches over the years

School lunches have been a topic tossed around a lot. What do you get to eat at school? Why do you get to eat it? How much should it cost? Should it be healthy? Does it taste good? These questions have been asked over the years in schools. Even though these questions never seem to change, school lunches themselves have changed over the years.

According to the website Mental Floss, in 1960, public schools and the Child Nutrition Act expanded the availability of school lunches in the U.S. They started to implement pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and enchiladas, not caring if the food was healthy or not. Then in the 1970s, fast food chains started to rise in the food industry and were put into the school lunches.

Soon after the fast food company’s took over in 1970 the USDA put out a statement saying that school lunches only needed to have “minimum nutritional value.” This led to ketchup being classified as a vegetable, due to the cuts in funding for school lunches that reduced the funds by $1 billion. 

Soon after this, in the 1990s, when fast foods had been in the school lunches for 10 years, obesity was at an all time high. Because of this, health concerns became a top priority for schools in the U.S according to the USDA. 

By 2005, schools were switching from canned vegetables to fresh vegetables, and grilled chicken to grilled jerk chicken. This made the obesity rates drop according to the website Mental Floss, but the schools also lost most of their money from the fast food companies. Since fast food was no longer being served for lunch, the companies no longer paid to be in the schools. Because of this, school lunches lost over half of their funding. 

5 years later, in 2010, President Obama was elected and he began the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. This increased the funding of school lunches, and school lunches began to get healthier and better for kids in school.   

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