National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

In 1946, Congress recognized the need for a permanent program that would provide schools with funding for student lunches. Legislation was implemented as the “National School Lunch Act” and is designed to “encourage the domestic consumption of nutritious agricultural commodities and other food, by assisting the States, through grants-in aid and other means, in providing an adequate supply of food and other facilities for the establishment, maintenance, operation and expansion of nonprofit school lunch programs.”

At Café LA, students receive nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches each school day. The meals and services provided by Café LA are an important part of the overall education experience and enhance student’s ability to learn. Children participating in the lunch program learn to make good nutritious choices from the selection of foods offered daily in the cafeteria. Applying these skills to their lives as they grow is an essential key to their good health and success in the future.

Families may apply for free or reduced meal benefits. This must be done every school year within the first 30 days of the beginning of school. Only students attending Community Eligibilty Provision (CEP) schools do not have to fill out an application once the school has qualified. Click here for more information on the application process.


Please view USDA National School Lunch Fact Sheet for more details or visit the USDA.