Get Involved

School meal programs need the support of the entire school community to succeed. There are many ways to get involved, for example:

  • Parents can encourage students to try the variety of fruits and vegetables available with school meals by offering more variety at home
  • Teachers can incorporate lessons on healthy eating into practical learning in the classroom, from studying the geographic origins of fruits and vegetables to using nutrition labels to calculate per package totals of sugar or sodium in popular snacks.
  • Students can participate in the menu development process through taste tests and student advocacy committees; and
  • Administrators can support efforts to improve lunch period scheduling to ensure students have adequate time to eat.

The first step to get involved in your school meal program is to gain an understanding of school nutrition operations and regulations. Browse through the About School Meals section of our website to read about how the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs work. Learn more about the challenges and financial constraints school nutrition professionals must balance when planning menus and preparing healthy school meals.

Remember that every school menu is different due to variations in enrollment, kitchen and equipment constraints, local costs of labor and ingredients. Even the length of the lunch period can impact menu planning, as schools with short lunch periods must provide more grab-and-go choices.

Parents are encouraged to find out more about their school meal programs. Review SNA's list of FAQs and tips for learning about what is being served to your students.

Read success stories from school cafeterias across the country at and join the conversation about school meals at

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The School Nutrition Association has a presence in every state across the country. View links to many of the state associations to find out more about what SNA is doing nationwide. 

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