week, the nation and Alabama celebrate National
School Lunch Week to showcase the best of food throughout America and the
innovative ways local Alabama schools are offering foods to their students.
With over 86 percent of breakfasts, 69 percent of lunches and 91 percent of all
snacks offered as "free" or "reduced," students in Alabama
are utilizing the USDA National School Lunch program. Over 94 million lunches
were served in the 2011-2012 school year. 15,000 additional breakfasts were
served this August when compared to last August.
order to ensure students are receiving healthy and delicious lunches, the Child
Nutrition Section of the Alabama State Department of Education works
frequently with local districts, offering training and other resources. Local
districts are learning to cook more homemade foods from school gardens and
local farms and serve less processed foods.
of Local School Innovation and Initiative:
Madison City Schools – With their own Farm to School
Program, Madison City Schools brings in new foods for the children while
also supporting local farmers.
Sylacauga City Schools – Pinecrest Elementary, a recent
recipient of the USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Award of
Distinction, has partnered with master gardener Bill Roberts to create the
"Vegetation Station." The new school garden provides health and nutrition
education, hands-on gardening techniques and cooking experiences for
students. Students at Pinecrest recently planted cabbages and turnips and
are also tending to the growth of tomato plants.
Geneva County Schools- Geneva County Elementary, also a
recent recipient of the USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Award of
Distinction, has an on-site vegetable and fruit garden, which offers food
to the schools' students.
Coffee County Schools- Zion Chapel School's Agriscience
Department has implemented a school garden behind the school. The crops
included onions, collards, turnips, and more. Each day the vegetables are
served, the principal announces it on the intercom during morning
announcements. Cafeteria workers post signs and pictures on top of the
serving line announcing the garden vegetables.
its dedication and innovation to healthy eating, Alabama is leading the nation
in the number of schools that are designated as Gold Award of Distinction
winners by the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC).
than 75 Alabama elementary and secondary schools are now on the prestigious
USDA Food and Nutrition Service list of schools receiving top HUSSC honors for
creating healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and
physical activity. In addition, nearly 200 Alabama public schools have earned
the HealthierUS School designation since the program began in 2004, including
every school within the Mobile County School System.
state's child nutrition directors and program coordinators have made a
concerted effort to educate children and their parents that snacks don't have
to come from foods that are high in sugar, fat, and artificial additives.
efforts to promote healthy eating habits in K-12 public schools across the
state include breakfast carts or "Grab ‘N' Go" kiosks near the drop-off point
for school buses and areas where students are likely to congregate before
classes start. School lunch options also include a wide selection of fruits,
vegetables, and whole grains.
more information on meals served in Alabama schools, please contact the Child
Nutrition Section at 334-242-8228 or visit CNP
Frequently Asked Questions.
Thursday, July 31 2014 2:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:17:53 GMT
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