School Lunches And School Lunch Program

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A recent study conducted in a rural K-12th grade, 300 student district, has shown the struggle in persuading students and staff members to participate in the National School Breakfast/Lunch Program, therefore decreasing sales. The foodservice component of the school is run by a separate foodservice company. This is of great benefit to the school district itself because it saves many added costs in labor, insurance, and benefits. The foodservice company has its own techniques in making school meals fun, delicious, and nutritious by incorporating different promotions throughout the year. Because the company’s focus is foodservice, their ultimate goal is to have high sales in all locations. This particular school district is challenging due to the low enrollment of students. School meals provide one-third to one-half of a child’s daily caloric intake.1 Therefore, school lunches have a large impact on the health of children who purchase lunch or participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The recent change in the NSLP standards gave students more availability to fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products and required students to have at least one fruit or vegetable serving on their tray in hopes that healthy eating behaviors would be increased.2 After review of this program, research shows that fruit selection increased by 23% and vegetable consumption increased by 16.2%.3 A cross-sectional observational study conducted in 12 elementary and 10
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