About the Film
The documentary Lunch Line takes a new look at the school lunch program by exploring its past, its current challenges, and its opportunities for the future. The National School Lunch Program began in 1946, and now, more than 60 years later, the program feeds more than 31 million children every day. In the film, leaders from all sides of the school food debate, including government officials, school foodservice experts, activists, and students, weigh in on the program and discuss ways to continue nourishing America’s children for another 60 years.
Lunch Line follows six kids from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago as they set out to fix school lunch — and end up at the White House. Their unlikely journey parallels the dramatic transformation of school lunch from a patchwork of local anti-hunger efforts to a robust national feeding program. The film tracks the behind-the-scenes details of school lunch and childhood hunger from key moments in the 1940s, 1960s, and 1980s to the present, revealing political twists, surprising alliances, and more common ground than people might realize.
Lunch Line illustrates that, while the National School Lunch Program has become an easy target for critics, the program has a unique capacity for addressing child welfare, the public good, and the problem of hunger. Revealing the history and complexity of these issues, Lunch Line shows how those on all sides of the lunch line can work together for a common good: the health of America’s kids.