“In 2014, the federal government spent about $20 billion to reimburse schools, child care centers, and after-school programs for children’s meals. Those programs benefit mainly school-age children from low-income households. . . Under current law, the Congressional Budget Office projects, spending would rise to about $31 billion in nominal dollars by 2025. Adjusted for expected inflation, that value represents an increase of 26 percent over 2014 spending.”
But . . .
“The effects of participating in NSLP, SBP, or other child nutrition programs on children’s nutritional intake, health outcomes, and educational achievement are unclear. Researchers studying that question have often reached conflicting or inconclusive results, in large part because it is often difficult to isolate the effects of the
program from those of other factors.”
Imagine. Spending $20 billion and having no idea if it helps or hurts or does nothing at all.