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Book Cover
Author Levine, Susan, 1947-

Title School lunch politics : the surprising history of America's favorite welfare program / Susan Levine
Published Princeton : Princeton University Press, ©2008


Description 1 online resource (x, 250 pages) : illustrations
Series Politics and society in twentieth-century America
Politics and society in twentieth-century America.
Contents Introduction. The politics of lunch -- 1. A diet for Americans. The search for a scientific diet ; A diet for Americans ; Nutrition and malnutrition ; School lunch as public policy -- 2. Welfare for farmers and children. School lunches for hungry children ; Eating the surplus ; The institutionalization of school lunch -- 3. Nutrition standards and standard diets. School lunch standards ; Nutrition in the national defense ; Eating democracy -- 4. A national school lunch program. Agriculture or education? ; The liberal compromise ; Discrimination and segregation -- 5. Ideals and realities in the lunchroom. Nutrition and surplus commodities ; Nutrition and the food service industry ; The limits of the lunchroom -- 6. No free lunch. Discovering hunger in America ; Agriculture or welfare? ; Food and the poverty line -- 7. A right to lunch. The free lunch mandate ; The women's campaign ; School lunch and civil rights ; Eligibility standards and the right to lunch -- 8. Let them eat ketchup. Who pays for free lunch? ; Combo meals and nutrition standards ; Ketchup and other vegetables -- Epilogue. Fast food and poor children
Summary From the Publisher: Whether kids love or hate the food served there, the American school lunchroom is the stage for one of the most popular yet flawed social welfare programs in our nation's history. School Lunch Politics covers this complex and fascinating part of American culture, from its origins in early twentieth-century nutrition science, through the establishment of the National School Lunch Program in 1946, to the transformation of school meals into a poverty program during the 1970s and 1980s. Susan Levine investigates the politics and culture of food; most specifically, who decides what American children should be eating, what policies develop from those decisions, and how these policies might be better implemented. Even now, the school lunch program remains problematic, a juggling act between modern beliefs about food, nutrition science, and public welfare. Levine points to the program menus' dependence on agricultural surplus commodities more than on children's nutritional needs, and she discusses the political policy barriers that have limited the number of children receiving meals and which children were served. But she also shows why the school lunch program has outlasted almost every other twentieth-century federal welfare initiative. In the midst of privatization, federal budget cuts, and suspect nutritional guidelines where even ketchup might be categorized as a vegetable, the program remains popular and feeds children who would otherwise go hungry. As politicians and the media talk about a national obesity epidemic, School Lunch Politics is a timely arrival to the food policy debates shaping American health, welfare, and equality
Notes 1st pbk printing 2010
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 193-241) and index
Notes English
Print version record
Subject National school lunch program.
School children -- Food -- United States
Children -- Nutrition -- United States.
Children -- Nutrition.
School health services.
Nutrition policy.
Teenagers -- Nutrition
Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
Adolescent Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
Food Assistance
School Health Services
Nutrition Policy
EDUCATION -- Counseling -- Crisis Management.
POLITICAL SCIENCE -- Public Policy -- Social Services & Welfare.
School health services
Nutrition policy
Children -- Nutrition
National school lunch program
School children -- Food
Skolmåltider -- Förenta staterna.
United States
United States
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2007028807
ISBN 9781400841486