The National School Lunch Program (NSLP), founded in 1946 under President Harry Truman to bring low-cost or free meals to qualified students, has since grown to be the second largest food and nutrition assistance program in the United States. Approximately 30.5 million children are served on an average day. As we look through the history of NSLP it has continued to change and grow. It has become much more than lunch. NSLP includes breakfast, fresh fruit and vegetable programs, summer feeding programs, after school snacks and meal programs.
In October, we began an after school snack program. Realizing that there is a large gap between lunch and evening meal, and wanting to support productive homework and physical activity, we implemented the program. We are able to offer snacks free to all students under the community eligibility option. Another positive outcome that I didn’t initially think about is that the program provides a chance to speak to students about the different food groups and making positive choices from them. The thankfulness we hear has definitely made the move a positive one. We started out serving an average of 41 students, and have steadily grown. We now serve more than 100 students.
Following USDA food guidelines, children have the opportunity to select two choices from the following four categories: dairy, grains, fruit/vegetable and protein.
Milk will always be available as the dairy choice and water will be available to those children that choose not to select dairy as one of their two choices.
Examples of food available in each category (additional options may be available in each category, based on availability):
• Dairy: milk
• Grains: cereal, graham crackers, goldfish crackers, pretzels, etc.
• Fruit/Vegetable: apples, oranges, other fruits or vegetables as available on a daily basis
• Protein: string cheese, yogurt
PR-B Food Service will continue to work to offer healthy choices for your children. Nutritional analysis of each snack choice is available to your child. Please talk to your child about healthy snack options and encourage them to “Pick two for a healthy you!”