Publication Date: 
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Healthy and nutritious lunches are critical to a child’s wellbeing and academic success. However not all families can afford adequate meals, and as a result, some families accrue a stack of unpaid bills for meals provided at school. These unpaid bills may go to collections, deny students certain academic or extracurricular privileges, or lead to meal denial entirely. State legislatures have begun to pass laws regulating school lunch policies. These laws vary from state to state but generally address what actions a school is prohibited from taking against students who cannot pay, regulate how the school can address unpaid charges, and create processes to address violations of the meal charge policy by schools. 

This dataset on explores statutes and regulations addressing school lunch policies in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. This dataset is valid through April 1, 2021.