The agency is also offering heat shield tiles from the shuttle to the schools.
The idea of the "Space Food for Schools" program is to help preserve the history of space flight and the shuttle program and to keep interest in the space program alive while fueling the enthusiasm of young people for future NASA employment.
The samples include an entrÃ©e, a dessert and a drink, but they are only for looks. NASA clearly warns that they are not for consumption, according to the article at Yahoo! News.
Astronauts in the space shuttle program were not limited to bland food. They had shrimp cocktail, spaghetti with meat sauce, freeze-dried strawberries, and chocolate candy, among other offerings. They had coffee or tea to drink in addition to the famous Tang which baby boomers will remember from the early days of NASA.
Aside from the space food, NASA is also offering heat tiles from the shuttles free to teachers. They have distributed 4,000 tiles, but still have 3,000 available. These tiles never flew in space, but are spare tiles that were not used, but they are wonderful tools for teaching about the space shuttles.
While the tiles and the space food are free, the schools that receive them do have to pay a fairly hefty shipping and handling fee of between $23 and $28 for the samples.
Teachers and schools can learn more about the program at NASA's Historic Artifacts homepage.