Rockdale County Public Schools is celebrating National School Lunch Week this week with events and activities, culminating in prominent guest servers and local leaders dishing up lunches for students on Friday.
The 2012 theme, “School Lunch – What’s Cooking?” and campaign will put a spotlight on the healthy foods and positive changes that Rockdale schools have incorporated into their menus. Peggy Lawrence, director of Food Services for RCPS, said “We have been inviting guest servers into our cafeterias for the past 13 years. There is no better way to show our cafeteria staff that they are appreciated than to work alongside them, and the students and staff at the schools really enjoy it! Hungry children cannot learn, and the real purpose of this week is to highlight the important role that school meals play in the education of our students.”
RCPS School Food Services recently received a USDA Best Practices Award for involving the community as guest servers during its celebrations of National School Lunch Week at a kickoff luncheon in September. The award, for the southeast region of the country, was presented at a kickoff luncheon by Steve Hortin, Deputy Administrator for the USDA’s Southeast Regional Office.
RCPS serves approximately 19,000 breakfasts, lunches, and snacks each day and over 3.2 million meals each school year. The National School Lunch Program, which has been serving the nation's children for over 60 years, requires school meals to meet the USDA’s new nutrition standards by:
• Ensuring students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week;
• Substantially increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods;
• Offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties;
• Limiting calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size; and
• Increasing the focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.
Serving more than 31 million children every school day, the federally-funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides nutritionally balanced, healthy meals.
The “School Lunch – What’s Cooking?” campaign is sponsored by the non-profit School Nutrition Association and the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP) to highlight all the components of well-balanced school meals. For more information about healthy school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.