Superintendent's Memo #248-10

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

October 8, 2010

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: National School Lunch Week, October 11-15, 2010

The Virginia Department of Education, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the School Nutrition Association, invites all school divisions to celebrate National School Lunch Week October 11-15, 2010. This year's theme, "School Lunch - What's on Your Tray?," helps students learn that eating a healthy and nutritious school lunch is essential to performing their best and to developing healthy eating habits. The National School Lunch Program 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 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 National School Lunch Program 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 National School Lunch Program provides nutritionally balanced meals to all students. Research has shown that students who eat school meals perform their best academically. Over 125 million school lunch meals were served to students in Virginia's public schools last year.

I encourage you to recognize this important week by inviting parents, community leaders, and state and local representatives to visit your schools and enjoy a school lunch. School administrators, teachers, and staff can join students for lunch and serve as role models for healthy eating. Resources are available from the School Nutrition Association's Web site at: http://docs.schoolnutrition.org/meetingsandevents/nslw2010/ and the "School Lunch: What’s On Your Tray?" Web site at: http://www.whatsonyourtray.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