Something similar was used in Soviet Union, although it was collective not individual.
The schools owned a large farm and as part of the school program every kid had to work there certain period during the year. By the end of the semester, every student had to have certain amount of work hours, total around 40 hours a year, once a week, or something like that. Also cooking classes were complusory for girls after 5th grade. Boys learned to make stuff out of wood, girls learnt to knit and cook. The latter lesson currently also exists.
It would be nearly impossible to make something like that individual as most parents do not have farmland, although collectively something like that would be possible.
50 cents a day would not be easy.
Here the daily lunch costs around 2 dollars a day. Although it is free for students up to highschool, if not even highschool (do not know recent laws, I know it was considered). There is not an option for hamburgers.
Simply glass of milk/juice/water/tea, bread, dessert and main food. The main food option is whether I want rice or potatoes, fish or meat, with sauce. Also usually 2 different salads were possible and sometimes 2 different desserts. When the main food was soup, there were no other options for it. The menu changed daily. Sometimes there were international weeks, where every day was some other national food etc.
Although overally the foods were good and nutritious + healthy.
edit on 11-4-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)