Hunger Free Students: Opportunities for Schools Beyond the Cafeteria

Good nutrition forms the foundation for children’s well-being and academic achievement, impacting their future health and economic productivity. However, in the US, 15.8 million children live in homes experiencing food insecurity.

Many of these children rely on National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs to meet their daily food needs. Despite the efforts  and importance of these nutrition safety nets, school meals may not always reach all students in need, and students may be at increased risk when school is out of session.

In this webinar recording, Alisha Gaines, PhD, Cornell University Division of Nutritional Sciences, discussed a variety of innovative school-based programs with unique partners across the nation that address childhood hunger outside of the cafeteria.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe the childhood food insecurity and hunger problem in the US.
  2. Describe school-based programs operating outside the cafeteria that address student hunger.
  3. Identify resources for potential programming opportunities in your area.


PDF of Webinar Slides 

US food insecurity



School nutrition safety net

School meals programs

School meals reach food insecure children


School meals participation

Community Eligibility Provision

USA Today article

Teacher food spending

Backpack programs



Feeding America network

School food pantries


Feeding America network

Food drives



Food recovery

Legal protection


USDA Resources

Other resources

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