A school meal or school lunch (also known as hot lunch, a school dinner, or school breakfast) is a meal, typically in the middle or beginning of the school day, provided to students at school. Countries all over the world have various kinds of school meal programs. Millions of children from all standards and grades get their meals at their respective schools every day. Scientifically and medically, school meals are regarded as an essential component of children's upbringing and growth. School meals provide high-energy food with high nutritional values for free, or at economical rates.
The benefits of school meals vary from country to country. While in developed countries the school meal is a source of nutritious meals, in developing countries it is an incentive to send children to school and continue their education. In developing countries, school meals provide food security at times of crisis and help children to become healthy and productive adults, thus breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger. In all cases, school meals allow children to focus on their studies, without hunger as a distraction.