Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


French and Francophone Studies

First Advisor

Michelle Chilcoat




School lunch program, school lunches, nutrition, history, France, United States


In recent years, there has been much debate surrounding national school lunch programs around the world. During the second half of the nineteenth century, the first school lunch programs were introduced on a school to school basis in both France and the United States. However national school lunch programs were not established until the middle of the following century. Since their establishment, national laws towards the school lunch program have greatly changed, sparked by major concern from citizens. By examining lunch programs in France and the United States, clear differences, as well as points of similarity, have been highlighted. These include economic support of the government, nutritional standards and education, and the structure of the lunch break. The United States has taken an analytical approach to school lunches in which each component is there to check a box, whether that be for nutritional or economic reasons. France, on the other hand, has taken a collective approach focusing on aspects that comprise the larger picture of school lunches. Overall, this thesis demonstrates the established lunch programs are not perfect, yet in recent years, strides have been made to improve both programs.



Rights Statement

In Copyright