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School Lunch Week Celebrates Nutrition for Our Nation’s Youth

Since it was signed into law in 1946, the National School Lunch Program has provided millions of low-cost, nutritionally balanced meals to the nation’s young people each school day.

During National School Lunch Week (October 13-17, 2008), the nation renews its commitment to the health of its children, working to ensure they develop good eating habits and receive nutritious meals.

By learning to eat well, children can avoid problems that can lead to serious long-term health problems, including heart disease, asthma and diabetes. Team Nutrition, part of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, plays an important role in promoting good nutrition to children in thousands of schools, providing training and resources to food service professionals across the country. 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to ensure that school lunch meals include fresh fruits, vegetables, and milk, and that they meet dietary recommendations so children limit fat, sodium, cholesterol and excess calories in their diet. 

National School Lunch Week, hosted by the School Nutrition Association, is an opportunity to recognize food service professionals, school officials and parents for their dedicated efforts to provide healthy foods to America's children. Next week, caregivers and those working with children should recommit themselves to encouraging children to make nutritious food choices and lead healthy lifestyles. 

National School Lunch Week was established in 1963 by a proclamation from President John F. Kennedy. It is designed to help raise awareness for the important role that school nutrition programs play in the lives of America’s children. Each year, the School Nutrition Association helps schools celebrate NSLW with an official theme, suggested menus and recipes, promotional resources, activity sheets, decoration ideas and more. This year, in honor of the presidential election, the theme is Vote for School Lunch ’08.

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, nonprofit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. The association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.