Superintendent's Memo #284-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

October 9, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: National School Lunch Week is October 12-16, 2009, Celebrate an "All-Star School Lunch"

The Virginia Department of Education along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the School Nutrition Association invites all school divisions and students to celebrate National School Lunch Week (NSLW) October 12-16, 2009. This year's theme,"All-Star School Lunch," is focused on helping students learn the importance of eating healthy school lunches and staying active. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is dedicated to the health and well-being of our nation's children, and has served our nation for over 60 years through advanced practices and nutrition education. National School Lunch Week was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 as a means to highlight the important, positive role of school lunch in our nation.

School lunch is healthier than ever. Lunches that are part of the NSLP must meet nutrition guidelines, are served in age appropriate portion sizes, and provide the right balance of protein, dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The federally funded NSLP provides nutritionally balanced meals to all students. School meals help students to do better in school. Research has shown that students who eat school meals perform their best academically. Last school year over 123 million school lunch meals were served to students in Virginia's public schools.

Celebrate this important week by inviting parents, community leaders, and state and local representatives to visit your schools and enjoy a school lunch. Parents and school nutrition professionals share the same goals: well-balanced nutritious meals for their students, and creating healthy eating habits for life. School administrators, teachers, and staff should join students for lunch and serve as role models for healthy eating. Teach students that they can be their very own "all-star" eating a balanced diet and being active.

Resources are available from the School Nutrition Association's website at http://docs.schoolnutrition.org/meetingsandevents/nslw2009/ and the"All-Star School Lunch" website at http://www.allstarschoollunch.org/.

Your support of this important program is essential to its continued success. I encourage you to celebrate National School Lunch Week and to make school lunch (and breakfast) an important part of each academic day.

If you have any questions, please contact the school nutrition program specialist assigned to your division, or Catherine Digilio Grimes, director of school nutrition programs, by e-mail at Catherine.Digilio-Grimes@doe.virginia.gov or by phone at (804) 225-2074.

PIW/CDG/idl