Worcester Celebrates National School Lunch Week

Worcester Celebrates National School Lunch Week
Posted on 10/15/2015

By Carrie Sterrs, Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs

Worcester County Public Schools is joining school districts across the nation this week in celebration of National School Lunch Week and the over 30 million children it serves every day.

It’s hard to believe that it was nearly 70 years ago that President Harry Truman signed the National School Lunch Act. Since that time, schools have served more than 220 billion lunches: meals that provide students with proper nutrition to enhance their lives both within our classrooms and beyond.

Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS) recognizes that school lunch is an essential part of every child’s health, development and academic success. USDA research shows that children who participate in the school lunch program have superior nutritional intakes when compared to those who don’t participate. Additionally, healthy eating at school has shown to correlate with higher test scores and less absenteeism.

In light of all of the benefits the school lunch program affords, WCPS is incredibly grateful for the dedication and care with which our food service professionals work each and every day. We salute their commitment to enabling our students to grow, learn and thrive.

With the adoption of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010, school lunches have been transformed to give students healthier, more nutritious options. WCPS cafeterias now offer more fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. Simultaneously, schools are also limiting less-healthy fats, sugar, sodium and excess calories.

“National School Lunch Week is a great opportunity to educate students, parents and even staff about the benefits of the School Lunch Program,” Scott Blackburn, supervisor of food services said. “We’re not only promoting healthy eating through our provided meals, but also setting the stage for students to make good food choices when they leave our schools as well.”

The theme of this year’s National School Lunch Week is “School Lunch Snapshot”. In keeping with this theme, we are encouraging staff and students to take snapshots of their school lunches to highlight the healthy food options offered daily.  The purpose of the program is to have participants showcase how school lunch has changed in recent years.

Many of our schools have welcomed students’ families to join in the celebration by enjoying a school lunch with their child, including during yesterday’s National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day, an event meant to open the lines of communication between school administrators and parents regarding healthy lunches. We encourage these attending family members to participate in the snapshot campaign as well.

To share your School Lunch Snapshot, upload your photo to your favorite social media site with the hashtag #WCPSLunchSnapshot, and don’t forget to tag Worcester County Public Schools in your posts of Facebook and Twitter as well.

To learn more about National School Lunch Week, or any of the Food Service programs offered by Worcester County Public Schools, please call me at (410) 632-5092.