School Nutrition: How spending dropped during the pandemic

School nutrition program spending dropped during the pandemic.

Usually the USDA’s National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program make up the largest share of child nutrition spending, but in 2019 before the pandemic, spending on those two programs alone came to almost $19 billion. In 2020, the programs equaled $14 billion, and $12 billion in 2021.

The USDA says the declines are partly due to many schools switching to the Summer Food Service Program, which increased from $500 million in 2019 to $11 billion in 2021.


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