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"Let’s Grow Healthy” with Healthy School Lunch-National School Lunch Week, October 10-14, 2011

Sumter County School Nutrition Program was represented at the National School Lunch Week Kick-Off Luncheon.  The activity was held at the Macon Centreplex, Macon, Georgia, on Thursday, September 29, 2011.  During the luncheon, school systems received awards for USDA Best Practice and for “The Alliance for a Healthier Generation” for fighting childhood obesity.   State School Superintendent, Dr. John D. Barge sent a representative from his office to greet the audience.
           The message to the group included information about schools across Georgia; they are partnering with local farmers to bring fresh foods to children and enhance healthy school meals.  Highlights of NSLW included this year’s National School Lunch Week (NSLW) campaign, “School Lunch – Let’s Grow Healthy,” which focuses on helping students understand the origin of food and the benefits of nutritious school lunches that help children grow strong and healthy.  Through the NSLW 2011 theme, schools support the first National Farm to School Month in October.  The campaign encourages students to try new menu items, promote locally-grown foods and support local farmers.  A harvest-of-the-month menu, a school garden, a meet-the-farmer educational presentation and more can be used to implement NSLW at each school.

“We are excited to promote this year’s National School Lunch Week and the first National Farm to School Month,” says Martha Harvey, SCS Director of School Nutrition.   “The School Nutrition Association has worked hard to provide our Georgia schools with the resources needed to create successful farm-to-school activities and events where children can learn to incorporate eating healthy, locally-grown foods into their lives.”

 This years’ National School Lunch campaign, “School Lunch – Let’s Grow Healthy” will be ending with National School Lunch Week, October 10-14, 2011.  The campaign runs from August 2011 to October 2011, ending with NSLW.  The Mission of the School Nutrition Program is to provide leadership, training, technical assistance, and resources so that local program personnel may deliver quality meals and education that contribute to the nutritional well-being of Georgians and their performance at work and school.

Representatives from the Sumter County Schools are shown from left to right.  Seated are as follows:  Felicia Thomas, cafeteria manager at Americus-Sumter High South Campus; Sekeithia Lewis, cafeteria manager at Staley Middle School; Lorraine Lassiter, cafeteria manager at Sumter County Elementary School;  and Martha Harvey, director of school nutrition for Sumter County Schools.  Standing from left to right:  Cheryl Clemons, coordinator for Sumter County Schools; Barbara Hawkins, cafeteria manager at Cherokee Elementary School; Lillie Poole, cafeteria manager at Sarah Cobb Elementary School; and Michelle Bush, cafeteria manager at Sumter County Middle School.