School Lunch Hero Day

School Lunch Hero Day is a holiday celebrated on the first Friday in May annually. It’s a day when people can show appreciation to the professionals who prepare meals for America’s students.

These professionals include not only those who design and implement the strict nutrition standards required in schools but also the cafeteria workers who ensure that all children are fed. All these individuals are heroes, and this day is designed to show them the appreciation they deserve but seldom receive.

The History of School Lunch Hero Day

School Lunch Hero Day was created through a partnership between the School Nutrition Association and children’s author Jarrett Krosoczka—the author of several picture books, including the “Lunch Lady” series. The first celebration of this holiday was on May 4, 2012, and it has been celebrated on the first Friday in May every year since.

Facts About School Lunches

Below are some interesting facts about school lunches that we thought everyone celebrating this holiday would like to know:

  • The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) enables schools to provide free and reduced-price lunches to income-eligible children in the United States.
  • The NSLP was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1946.
  • The NSLP funds 5 billion healthy lunches each year in 95% of all public schools.
  • The School Breakfast Program (SBP) was established in 1966.
  • School lunch guidelines are published every five years by the USDA.
  • The NSLP requires all school lunches to comply with USDA guidelines.
  • The meals provided for eligible free and reduced-price lunches cost less than $0.40 per child per day.

The Importance of School Lunches

School lunches are an important part of a student’s academic success. Studies show that students who receive regular meals for breakfast and lunch are more likely to succeed in school. Research has also demonstrated that school breakfasts and lunches contribute to students’ overall health.

Students who receive free or reduced-price school lunches have a lower rate of obesity, reduced rates of food insecurity, and better overall health. As a result, school lunches are not only beneficial for the student but also for the overall community. In other words, school lunches are good for all of us.

Celebrating School Lunch Hero Day

Celebrating this holiday can be as simple as giving a thank-you card to a “School Lunch Hero” in your life or giving them a gift. It’s also a good day to bring attention to the importance of school lunches to students and the overall community, to help ensure these programs remain funded. People can also use the hashtag #SchoolLunchHeroDay to let everyone know about the amazing individuals who are keeping their children fed and healthy.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 3 Friday
Next year (2025)
May 2 Friday
Last year (2023)
May 5 Friday
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