National School Lunch Campaign


Our National School Lunch Campaign

Children's health and nutrition in the U.S. is in a state of crisis that affects our nation's educational success, job readiness, global competitiveness, the surging cost of healthcare, and environmental sustainability.

Children spend two-thirds of their waking hours in schools. Schools also provide 50% of kids' meals, schools offer the best opportunity to improve children's health significantly to help make better meal choices in school and at home.

Recognizing this, Congress and the president established National School Lunch Week (NSLW). However, the opportunity to substantively implement National School Lunch programming during that week and beyond has gone untapped.

Earth Day Network has launched our multi-faceted National School Lunch Campaign to change that.

Pledge to NSLW


The food served in schools is some of the lowest quality food in the country, both in terms of nutrition level and sustainability. Heavily treated with pesticides and preservatives, school food is much lower in nutrients than fresh local food, having traveled on average 3,000 miles on its journey between field and fork. By contrast, fresh local food (that has traveled 300 miles or less) delivers more nutrients, reduces carbon emissions, connects a school to its community and benefits the local economy.

In honor of National School Lunch Week, this challenge asks YOU, your classmates and your teachers to design your dream school lunches. But there are no french fries and pizza on this menu. We want you to create a weeklong menu that is equal parts delicious, sustainable, healthy, and economical. The challenge is open to any middle school and high school class in the nation. In the Menu Challenge toolkit (coming soon!), we'll provide tools, resources and information to help you along the way