Use of Surplus Dairy Products in the National School Lunch Program

T-RCED-89-49: Published: Jun 14, 1989. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 1989.

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GAO discussed: (1) Department of Agriculture (USDA) donations of surplus dairy products to the National School Lunch Program; (2) impacts that recent reductions in such donations have had on the program; and (3) the quantities of dairy products needed for the program. GAO found that: (1) USDA donations for school lunches peaked in 1987 at 275 million pounds of dairy products, but declined to an estimated 208 million pounds in 1989; (2) officials believed that the recent declines have had at least a moderately serious impact on school lunch programs, but stated that the nutritional value of lunches has been largely unaffected; (3) in most states, lunch prices did not increase as a result of the declines, but state officials believed that prices would increase in 1990; and (4) due to numerous variables affecting individual nutritional needs, it was very difficult to develop meaningful estimates of dairy needs for school lunch programs as a whole.

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