Put Your Money Where Their Mouths Are: A Case for State-Based Investment in Anti-Shaming Policies for School Lunch Programs

Roth, Shayna | April 1, 2023

Despite its goals for feeding hungry students, the federal government’s National School Lunch Program falls short due to a lack of guidance and resources. One consequence of these circumstances is shaming practices where schools use fear, punishment, and socioeconomic segregation tactics to mitigate meal price deficits. The federal government and several state governments attempt, and sometimes succeed, to enact legislation to improve school lunch programs, but efforts are few and far between. This Note draws on effective state laws to advocate for increased legislative action on school meals across all states, specifically addressing and prohibiting shaming practices. Eliminating this barrier to school meals will mitigate socioeconomic stratification in learning environments and better prepare students to engage intellectually with educational opportunities.