Established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, National School Lunch Week (NSLW) is a week-long celebration of the school lunch program. Every October, schools across the country participate in National School Lunch Week celebrations, reminding students, parents and communities that a healthy school lunch helps students learn, grow and achieve. Teachers and students celebrate in their cafeterias every year with decorations, costumes (dressing up like fruits and veggies!), special menus (international flavors) and events (chili cook-offs, bake sales and more).
But it’s become far more than a celebration and has evolved into community awareness and education. From students making healthier choices to improved academic performance, nutrition education can benefit the whole school and family communities. For example, students bring home food samples and printed menus to share with family members, providing additional visibility and transparency into their school lunches and also encourages parents to make equally healthy meals at home.
That’s why the NSLW is so important. This year’s theme, “Show Your Spirit,” is about getting excited about the benefits of consuming wholesome, healthy school lunches—fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and dairy products such as milk and yogurt.
Here’s what just a few of our nation’s schools are doing this week:
Schools in Knoxville, Iowa serve a wide variety of fruits & veggies, available at Salad and Garden Bars, & fresh fruit carts open at every school during lunch. In addition, a grab & go lunch option named the Panther Power Pack is available daily for students to purchase at Knoxville High School. Nearly all of the baked goods served are made from scratch & baked fresh daily!
Schools in San Antonio, Texas recognize National School Lunch Week with the theme “Vote for a Winning Lunch.” Student-made posters and weekly menus adorn the cafeteria to promote voting and healthy nutrition throughout the week.Parents, students and school officials all cast ballots for their favorite school lunch and show that healthier choices are critical to feeling good and succeeding in school
Cafeterias in Marietta City Schools will roll out new menus featuring Greek, Jamaican and Thai-inspired cuisine. With hopes that the healthy-eating habits continue at home, Harrison said the district uses name-brand food products so students can recognize the healthy food in the grocery store.
Want to learn more about how 1WorldSync helps with school lunches, nutrition and transparency? Read “Back to School Blues: The Chore of the Daily Lunch” and “This Year’s Back to School Checklist Includes Transparency & Traceability.”