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In fiscal year (FY) 2020, USDA’s four largest child nutrition programs provided the fewest meals since FY 2001

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The USDA’s largest child nutrition programs—the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)—served about 7.9 billion meals in fiscal year (FY) 2020, the lowest number of meals served since FY 2001. This was a 17 percent decline from the average of 9.5 billion meals served annually by the programs from FY 2015 through FY 2019. The decrease is primarily attributable to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which disrupted in-person attendance at schools and childcare providers—through which NSLP, SBP, and CACFP typically operate—nationwide beginning in March 2020. To help facilitate the continued provision of meals to children and adolescents during these disruptions, USDA issued waivers allowing for greater flexibility in the administration of the child nutrition programs and expanded the scope and coverage of its summer feeding programs, including SFSP. Despite the overall decline in meals served, the number of meals served through SFSP rose substantially in FY 2020. The SFSP’s share of total meals served increased to 16.0 percent in FY 2020 from 1.5 percent in FY 2019. Comparatively, NSLP’s share of meals shrank to 41.0 percent in FY 2020 from 51.2 percent in FY 2019. Though less drastic, SBP’s and CACFP’s share of all meals served also decreased, to 23.1 percent in FY 2020 from 25.8 percent in FY 2019 for SBP and 19.8 percent in FY 2020 from 21.6 percent in FY 2019 for CACFP. Because of disruptions and changes to the child nutrition landscape in FY 2020, total spending on all four programs amounted to $21.1 billion, down from average annual expenditures of $22.9 billion in the previous five fiscal years. This chart is based on a chart in the USDA, Economic Research Service’s The Food and Nutrition Assistance Landscape: Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report.

Pandemic response contributed to 32 percent increase in Federal food assistance spending in FY 2020

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Total spending on USDA’s food and nutrition assistance programs increased 32 percent from $92.5 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2019 to $122.1 billion in FY 2020. The way spending was distributed reflects changes to the food assistance landscape in FY 2020 resulting from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and subsequent economic downturn and Federal response. Spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increased because of greater participation and additional benefit issuance, accounting for 65 percent of total spending. Combined spending on the four largest child nutrition programs fell in FY 2020, as did spending on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Together these programs accounted for 21 percent of total spending. As part of the Federal response to the pandemic, two new assistance programs were created: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) and the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. In FY 2020, P-EBT benefits totaled $10.7 billion, and Food Box Program spending totaled $2.5 billion. Together, these two programs accounted for 11 percent of overall food and nutrition assistance spending. This chart is based on data available as of January 2021 that is subject to revision and on a chart in the USDA, Economic Research Service’s Food and Nutrition Assistance Landscape: Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report, released August 24, 2021.

USDA’s Summer Food Service Program provided a record number of meals in fiscal year 2020

Friday, July 16, 2021

USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) typically provides nutritious meals to children and teens in low-income areas during unanticipated school closures between October and April or when schools are not in session, such as during summer break. In fiscal year (FY) 2020, the program served a record number of nearly 1.3 billion meals to children and teens, 8.9 times more than in FY 2019. Whereas participation in the program typically peaks in July, the SFSP in 2020 provided the most meals in May and continued to serve more than 200 million meals in September. The Government spent $4.1 billion on the program in FY 2020, up from $475 million in FY 2019. This increase reflects the expanded need for food assistance during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the Federal response to meet that need. The closure of schools and childcare providers beginning in March 2020 disrupted the distribution of meals through what are typically the largest of USDA’s Child Nutrition Programs: the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. In response, USDA issued waivers expanding the scope and coverage of the SFSP by allowing qualifying organizations to serve free meals throughout the year and in all areas, among other changes. This chart is based on data available as of January 2021 that is subject to revision and made available on the USDA, Economic Research Service’s (ERS) Summer Food Service Program section of the Child Nutrition Programs topic page, updated July 2021.

SNAP and P-EBT accounted for more than one-ninth of total food-at-home spending from April to September 2020

Monday, June 7, 2021

Shutdowns, stay-at-home orders, and the need for social distancing led households to buy more food for consumption at home during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In response to the economic downturn and pandemic conditions, supplemental emergency allotments were issued to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits were distributed to households with children missing free and reduced-price school meals. This expansion of nutrition assistance led to a rapid increase in the dollar amount of these benefits issued to households and redeemed for food at home (FAH). In January and February 2020, SNAP benefit redemptions accounted for 6.8 percent of total FAH expenditures as estimated by the Food Expenditure Series. In March 2020, FAH spending spiked, causing SNAP’s share of FAH spending to fall. From March to June 2020, the introduction of P-EBT and increase in SNAP benefits led to rapid growth in these programs’ share of FAH spending. In June 2020, redemptions of these benefits peaked at $9.5 billion—making up 13.3 percent of FAH spending that month. This share fell the following three months. Overall, the share of total FAH spending attributable to SNAP and P-EBT from April through September 2020 was 11.7 percent—more than one in nine dollars and nearly 5 percentage points higher than SNAP’s share over the same months in 2019. This chart is based on a chart in the USDA, Economic Research Service’s COVID-19 Working Paper: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Redemptions during the Coronavirus Pandemic, released March 2021.

Federal spending on food assistance reached record high of $122.1 billion in 2020

Friday, April 23, 2021

Spending on USDA’s food and nutrition assistance programs jumped 30 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2020 to an inflation-adjusted record of $122.1 billion, abruptly reversing a six-year decline. This increase reflects the expanded need for food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent Federal response to meet that need. This response included USDA waivers allowing flexibility in the administration of the Department’s 15 existing food and nutrition assistance programs and the creation of two programs, Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) and the Farmers to Families Food Box Program (Food Box Program). The rise in FY 2020 expenditures was driven by increased spending on these two new programs, as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) expenditures remained relatively unchanged while pandemic-induced disruptions in the operation of schools, childcare centers and daycare homes led to declines in child nutrition spending. This chart is based on data available on the USDA, Economic Research Service’s (ERS) General Overview of Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs webpage, updated April 2021.

Online redemptions of SNAP and P-EBT benefits rapidly expanded throughout 2020

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot began in 2019 as mandated by the 2014 Farm Act and was quickly expanded in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pilot allows households in participating States to use their SNAP benefits to purchase groceries online from a limited number of authorized retailers. Households can similarly use Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits, which were issued in 2020 to households with children missing free and reduced-price school meals during the pandemic. Online transactions using benefits are subject to the same requirements as in-person transactions and cannot be spent on tips or fees. The number of States where SNAP and P-EBT benefits could be redeemed online grew from just one State at the beginning of 2020 to 46 States by the end of September 2020. As availability increased and the pandemic necessitated continued social distancing, the value of SNAP and P-EBT benefits redeemed online increased. In February 2020, households redeemed less than $3 million in benefits online, accounting for less than 0.1 percent of all benefits redeemed. By September, this amount grew to $196 million — 67 times its value in February. Overall, households redeemed $801 million in benefits online from February to September 2020. Despite this rapid growth, online redemptions accounted for only 2.4 percent of all benefits redeemed in September. This chart is based on a chart in the USDA, Economic Research Service’s COVID-19 Working Paper: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Redemptions during the Coronavirus Pandemic, released March 2021.

SNAP and P-EBT benefit redemptions surpassed prior 3-year average in 2020

Thursday, April 8, 2021

The U.S. Government expanded existing food assistance programs and introduced new ones in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic contraction in the United States in 2020. Some States began issuing monthly supplemental emergency allotments to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households in March 2020, with the rest beginning to do so in April 2020. All States issued Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to households with children who missed free or reduced-price school meals during the 2019-20 school year; the earliest States began issuing P-EBT benefits in April 2020. This led to a rapid increase in the dollar amount of food assistance benefits issued to households and redeemed for groceries during the pandemic. The value of total monthly redemptions roughly doubled from $4.7 billion in March 2020 to $9.5 billion in June 2020. Most P-EBT benefits for the 2019-20 school year were issued in May and June 2020, leading total redemptions to peak in June and decline over the next three months. By September, redemptions amounted to $8.1 billion. Overall, an average of $8.4 billion per month in combined SNAP and P-EBT benefits were redeemed from April through September 2020—an increase of 74 percent compared with the average value of benefits redeemed during the same 6 months in 2017-19. This chart is based on a chart in the USDA, Economic Research Service’s COVID-19 Working Paper: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Redemptions during the Coronavirus Pandemic, released March 2021.

Participation in USDA’s School Breakfast Program doubled between 1999 and 2019

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Between 1999 and 2019, participation in USDA’s School Breakfast Program roughly doubled, increasing from 7.4 million children on a typical school day in fiscal year (FY) 1999 to 14.7 million in FY 2019. The Federal program makes healthy breakfasts available to all students in participating schools, with children from low-income households receiving the meals for free or at a reduced price. Most of the growth in participation over the last 2 decades has been among students receiving free breakfasts. Free breakfast participation rose from 5.7 million children in FY 1999 to 11.7 million in FY 2019, an increase of 5 million children. In FY 2019, 80 percent of breakfasts served were free, 5 percent were provided at a reduced price, and 15 percent were full price. Federal spending for the program totaled $4.5 billion in FY 2019—3 percent more than in the previous year. These data were collected before the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore do not account for pandemic-related conditions, including school closures and economic conditions. FY 2020 data that would reflect those circumstances are expected to be released during summer 2021. The data for this chart are from the USDA, Economic Research Service’s Child Nutrition Programs topic page.

The share of children receiving free school lunches and breakfasts rose between 2009 and 2019

Monday, October 19, 2020

In 2019, before the spring 2020 school closings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 29 million children participated in USDA’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and close to 15 million participated in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) on a typical school day. Children are certified to receive free or reduced-price meals — or they pay full price — based on their families’ incomes. Between 2009 and 2019, the number of children receiving free lunches was offset by a drop in reduced- and full-price meal participation. As a result, total NSLP participation declined by about 2 million, with free lunch participation making up 68 percent of total participation in 2019, compared with 52 percent in 2009. Over the same decade, free breakfast participation rose by 3.7 million and full-price breakfast participation rose by 0.2 million. This offset the 0.4-million decline in reduced-price breakfast participation, resulting in a 3.5-million increase in total SBP participation. In both 2009 and 2019, SBP served primarily students from low-income households, with 72 percent of participants receiving free breakfast in 2009 and 80 percent in 2019. This chart appears in “Free School Lunch, Breakfast Participation Rose Between 2009 and 2019” in the Economic Research Service’s Amber Waves magazine, October 2020.

Child care centers accounted for 75 percent of meals provided by USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program in fiscal year 2019

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

In fiscal year (FY) 2019, USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provided about 2 billion subsidized meals to children at child care centers and family day care homes, which accounted for 96 percent of all meals served in the program. Child care centers served 75 percent of CACFP meals in 2019. The program provided an additional 82 million meals to elderly and functionally impaired adults at adult day care centers. The number of CACFP meals served in family day care homes has dropped from a high of 777 million in FY 1996 to 435 million in FY 2019, while the number of meals served in child care centers has grown from 746 million to 1.5 billion over that same time period. USDA’s costs for CACFP in FY 2019 totaled $3.7 billion. Meals and snacks served to CACFP participants must meet USDA nutrition standards to receive Federal reimbursements. Closures of many child and adult care facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic are reflected in fewer CACFP meals served in April 2020 compared with April 2019. Preliminary data from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service record 125 million meals served in April 2020, down from 194 million meals a year earlier. Waivers to program regulations granted by USDA in March 2020 allowed providers to distribute CACFP meals as “grab and go” or via delivery. This chart appears in the Economic Research Service report, The Food Assistance Landscape: Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report, July 2020.

Federal spending on food assistance in fiscal year (FY) 2019 at lowest level since FY 2009

Friday, August 21, 2020

USDA administers 15 domestic food and nutrition assistance programs that together form a nutritional safety net for millions of children and low-income adults. Federal expenditures on these programs totaled $92.4 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2019, their lowest level since FY 2009 and 22 percent less than the inflation-adjusted historical high of $117.9 billion set in FY 2013. The decline in spending between 2013 and 2019 was likely largely due to continued improvement in the U.S. economy, as the unemployment rate declined from 7.4 to 3.7 percent over that time period. Spending for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which accounted for almost two-thirds (65.3 percent) of Federal food and nutrition assistance spending in FY 2019, totaled $60.4 billion, or 8 percent less than in FY 2018 and 30 percent less than the inflation-adjusted historical high of $86.3 billion set in FY 2013. Expenditures fell for both SNAP and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) between FYs 2018 and 2019, but increased between 2 and 3 percent for each of the three largest child nutrition programs—the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. A version of this chart appears in the Economic Research Service report, The Food Assistance Landscape: Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report, July 2020.

USDA’s Summer Food Service Program served 2.7 million children at 47,463 sites in 2019

Thursday, June 11, 2020

In 2019, USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provided free USDA-funded meals to approximately 2.7 million children on a typical day in July, the program’s peak month. SFSP meals were served at 47,463 USDA-approved sites. Schools, libraries, camps, playgrounds, housing projects, community centers, churches, and other public locations where children gather in the summer all qualify as USDA-approved sites. “Open sites” operate in areas where at least half of the children come from families with incomes at or below 185 percent of the Federal poverty level. They serve any child who comes to the site, with no requirement for preregistration or income determination. SFSP also operates in “closed sites” that serve enrolled children. Closed sites do not have to be located in low-income areas, but they have to primarily serve low-income children: at least half of the children at the site must be from households with incomes at or below the SFSP threshold. In spring 2020, most American schools closed unexpectedly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To replace school meals, many school districts began providing meals to children under the SFSP, and USDA removed the requirement that open sites operate in low-income areas. USDA addressed concerns created by the pandemic by granting waivers that allowed SFSP sites to distribute “grab and go” meals rather than requiring meals be eaten onsite, to provide meals for multiple days at one time, and to allow parents to pick-up meals for their children. As of June 1, 2020, these waivers remain in effect until August 31, 2020. States may also apply to participate in USDA’s Pandemic EBT (electronic benefits transfer) program. This program provides children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals with food purchasing benefits equivalent to the value of the meals they would have received if schools were open. A version of this chart appears in the Child Nutrition Programs: Charts topic page on the ERS website.

Decline in school lunch participation driven by drops in full- and reduced-price participation

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

On a typical school day in fiscal year 2018, 29.7 million children participated in USDA’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and USDA expenditures on the program totaled $13.8 billion for the year. These expenditures include cash reimbursements for meals served and the value of foods provided to schools by USDA. In return for the reimbursements and donated foods, schools must serve lunches that meet Federal nutrition requirements and offer these lunches to children from low-income families for free or at a reduced-price. Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of lunches were provided for free or at a reduced-price in 2018. Since 2001, free lunch participation has increased every year, from 12.9 million children in 2001 to 20.2 million in 2018. Over the same period, full-price lunch participation peaked at 12.6 million children in 2007, and reduced-price meal participation peaked at 3.2 million in 2009. Through 2011, overall NSLP participation increased, reaching a high of 31.8 million children, driven by growth in free-meal participation. Since then, declining participation of children receiving reduced- and full-price lunches has led to a drop in overall participation. A longer version of this chart (starting in 1970) appears in the Child Nutrition Programs: Charts topic page on the ERS website.

USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program served more than 4.3 million children in 2018

Friday, August 2, 2019

On a typical day in fiscal year 2018, USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provided subsidized meals and snacks to more than 4.3 million children at child care centers and family day care homes. Participation in CACFP through child care centers has grown from 1.7 million children in 2000 to 3.6 million in 2018, while participation through family day care homes has dropped from 1 million children in 2000 to fewer than 800,000 in 2018. The rise in center-based participation more than offset the decline in home-based participation through 2017, resulting in participation in CACFP increasing from 2.7 million children in 2000 to 4.4 million in 2017. The number of children attending centers who participated in the program in 2018 was the same as in 2017, but fewer children in day care homes participated. The program also provided subsidized meals for 131,634 older or functionally impaired adults at adult day care centers in 2018. Meals and snacks served to CACFP participants must meet USDA nutrition standards to receive Federal reimbursements. USDA’s costs for CACFP in fiscal 2018 totaled $3.6 billion. This chart appears on the chart page of ERS’s Child Nutrition Programs topic page.

USDA’s Summer Food Service Program served 2.7 million children in 2018

Friday, July 5, 2019

In 2018, USDA’s Summer Food Service Program provided meals to approximately 2.7 million children on an average operating day in July, the peak month for program operations. Meals were served at 49,795 USDA-approved sites. These sites are eligible to offer free USDA-funded meals and snacks if the sites operate in areas where at least half of the children come from families with incomes at or below 185 percent of the Federal poverty level, or if more than half of the children served by the site meet this income criterion. Schools, libraries, camps, parks, playgrounds, housing projects, community centers, churches, and other public locations where children gather in the summer all qualify as USDA-approved sites. Enrichment activities are often offered along with the meals and snacks. Many low-income children also obtain free meals while school is out through the Seamless Summer Option of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. This chart is from the Child Nutrition Programs: Charts topic page on the ERS website, updated in June 2019.

Districts with high-poverty schools generally make greater use of USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision for school meals

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) allows eligible schools in high-poverty areas to offer free USDA school meals to all students. Eligibility to use CEP is based on the share of students participating in specified income-based assistance programs—known as the Identified Student Percentage (ISP). Schools are eligible to use CEP if the ISP for the school, group of schools, or district is at least 40 percent. ERS researchers used administrative data from USDA and States for the 2015-16 school year to group eligible school districts into categories based on the highest school-level ISP in the district. The researchers found that more than half of districts with schools in ISP ranges between 61 and 90 percent used CEP in at least one of their schools. Under CEP, USDA reimburses schools at the higher free-meal rates for a portion of the meals served, and the remaining meals are reimbursed at the lower paid-meal rates. At ISP levels above 62.5 percent, all meals are reimbursed at the free rates. This reimbursement schedule likely contributes to districts with schools with higher needs making greater use of CEP. However, districts that have schools with ISP levels of 91-100 percent had a lower CEP adoption rate. Some districts may have felt less need to adopt CEP because so many children’s eligibility for free meals was already established through participation in other programs. This chart appears in “High-Poverty Schools Are More Likely To Adopt the Community Eligibility Provision of the USDA School Meal Programs” in the September 2018 issue of ERS’s Amber Waves magazine.

Eligible schools can offer free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of USDA’s National School Lunch Program allows eligible schools in high poverty areas to offer USDA school meals at no charge to all students. CEP reduces the administrative burden associated with collecting paper applications and meal payments from students. Eligibility to use CEP is based on the share of students participating in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or other specific income-based assistance programs—known as the Identified Student Percentage (ISP). Schools are eligible to use CEP if the ISP for the school, group of schools, or district is at least 40 percent. USDA reimburses schools for meals according to a formula based on the ISP. Following a 3-year phase-in during which CEP was only available in a limited number of States, the provision was offered to all eligible school districts in the 2014-15 school year. Thirty-two percent of eligible districts used CEP in at least one of their schools in 2014-15, 37 percent in 2015-16, and 47 percent in 2016-17. A recent ERS study found that use of CEP was generally higher for poorer districts, districts in States that were part of the phase-in period, and schools in the Southeast. The data for this chart are from the ERS report, Characteristics of School Districts Offering Free School Meals to All Students Through the Community Eligibility Provision of the National School Lunch Program, released on August 28, 2018.

Participation in USDA’s Summer Food Service Program varies across States

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

When school is not in session, USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides free meals and snacks to children and teens at approved sites such as schools, churches, parks, community centers, and day camp programs. SFSP meals must meet Federal nutrition guidelines and are served in areas with high concentrations of low-income children. In July 2016, the percent of a State’s total population participating in SFSP ranged from 0.2 percent in Arizona to 2.1 percent in New York. That same year, 4.2 percent of the District of Columbia’s population participated in the program. Demographic factors help explain differences in program participation as a percentage of total population; higher SFSP participation rates could reflect a higher proportion of school-age children relative to total population or a higher number of low-income children relative to the overall school-age population. Differences in availability and accessibility of SFSP sites also play an important role in the variability across States. Many low-income children also obtain free meals while school is out through the Seamless Summer Option of the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, not included in this map. This chart appears in the ERS topic page Summer Food Service Program, updated June 19, 2018.

In the past decade, participation in USDA’s School Breakfast Program has grown by more than 5 million

Monday, November 6, 2017

USDA’s School Breakfast Program makes healthy breakfasts available to all students in participating schools, with children from low-income households receiving the meals for free or at a reduced price. The program has grown considerably in the past 11 years, with participation increasing from 9.4 million children on a typical school day in fiscal 2005 to 14.6 million in fiscal 2016, an increase of 5.2 million children daily. Most of that growth in participation has been among students qualified to receive free breakfasts. Free breakfast participation rose from 6.8 million children in fiscal 2005 to 11.5 million in fiscal 2016, an increase of 4.7 million children. In fiscal 2016, 79 percent of breakfasts served were free, 6 percent were provided at a reduced price, and 15 percent were full price. Federal spending for the program totaled $4.2 billion in fiscal 2016—an increase of 7 percent over fiscal 2015. The data for this chart are from the Child Nutrition Programs topic page on the ERS Web site, updated October 2017.

In 2016, 73 percent of USDA school lunches were free or reduced price

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

On a typical school day in fiscal 2016, 30.4 million children participated in USDA’s National School Lunch Program and 73 percent of them received the meals for free or at a reduced price. The number of students receiving free and reduced-price lunches has grown from 18.5 million in 2008 to 22.1 million in 2016. Some of this increase may be attributable to the 2007-09 recession and the slow recovery that followed. Declining incomes likely led more families to qualify and/or apply for free or reduced-price lunches. In addition, since 2014, the Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act has made it possible for more schools to offer free meals to all their students. Between 2008 and 2011, the increase in free and reduced price participation more than offset the decline in full-price participation, with total participation increasing from 31.0 million to 31.8 million children daily. After 2011, however, declining full-price participation resulted in total daily participation falling. This chart appears in the Child Nutrition Programs topic page on the ERS Web site, updated on October 2, 2017.

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