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National School Lunch Week Spotlights Importance of Good Nutrition

Posted Date: 10/01/2021

Beauregard  Parish  will  recognize  National  School  Lunch  Week  on  October  11-15,
2021, to celebrate the benefits of the National School Lunch Program feeding over 30 million school 
children each day.

The week is sponsored annually by the School Nutrition Association. This year the theme is: Wild 
About School Lunch!

National School Lunch Week emphasizes the healthy foods that are offered daily in school  
cafeterias  across  the  country.  School  nutrition  guidelines  require  that  fruits  and 
vegetables are served with more whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.

“National School Lunch Week is a time for us to educate our students and community about the 
benefits  of our school  lunch  program,”  said Terrie  Smith,  School Food Services Director.
School Lunch Week 2021

“School lunches are healthier than ever, with more nutritious foods that help provide the energy  
that students need to sustain them through the school day.”

Each  day,  the  eleven  cafeterias  in Beauregard   Parish   schools   serve   1,500 breakfasts 
and 3,200 lunches.

A typical workday for School Food Service   technicians  begins  at   6:00  a.m.
They cook breakfast and begin lunch items, serve breakfast, clean up, and continue cooking and 
preparations for lunch.

There has been a trend in the food-service sector to move school lunches toward pre- packaged 
meals, explained Smith. However, in Beauregard Parish, School Food Service staff still prepare 
meals in house.

“Most of our daily menu items are cooked from scratch each day,” said Smith. “Our School Food 
Service technicians take pride in what they prepare and serve to our students and staff.”

USDA research shows that students who participate in school lunch programs have better nutritional 
intake than those who do not. Eating healthy meals at school correlates with higher test scores and 
lower absenteeism, according to some reports.

“Studies show that healthy eating habits are foundational to helping students meet the rigors of 
the school day,” explained Smith. “Students who eat well-balanced meals are more productive in 
class because they are better able to concentrate on their work.”

The   federally-funded   National   School   Lunch   Program   provides   nutritionally balanced, 
healthy meals to students each school day.

The program, which has been serving the nation’s children for over 50 years, requires schools  to  
meet  federal  nutritional  standards  that  promote  better  general  health  for students.

“The School Food Service program in Beauregard Parish is an important part of the school day,” 
concluded Smith. “We strive to meet both the nutritional and educational needs
of our students by serving healthy breakfasts and lunches.”