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PRESS RELEASE

October 15, 2007

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education Recognizes National School Lunch Week in Florida

TALLAHASSEE – The Department of Education’s Food and Nutrition Management Program will celebrate National School Lunch Week in Florida October 15-19, 2007. In June, Governor Charlie Crist signed a proclamation recognizing the benefits of a healthy lunch and its positive impact on academic performance and behavior of students. To observe the week, Education Deputy Commissioner Linda Champion will host a celebration in Tallahassee on Thursday, October 18, 2007.

“Studies have repeatedly shown that students who eat a healthy lunch are more focused and achieve at higher levels in school,” said Commissioner Blomberg. “This week helps focus our attention on this important meal as communities around the nation join together in its celebration.”

During National School Lunch Week (NSLW), fun events and activities will be held to help celebrate the benefits of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Established in 1946, this program is the largest of the federal child nutrition programs, with 29 million children served lunch every day in more than 99,000 schools.

One of the main events being held to celebrate NSLW is the Vote for School Lunch campaign. This campaign is an award-winning, nationwide celebration of the NSLP that gives children the chance to learn about and vote for their favorite school lunch. This year’s candidates involved in the campaign represent a variety of nutritious foods such as wraps, rice bowls and baked potatoes. Votes for each candidate are being collected from October 8-18, and the winner will be announced on October 22. People interested in learning more about the candidates or casting votes should visit http://www.voteforschoollunch.org/.

For more than 30 years, the National School Lunch Program has contributed to the health and educational development of Florida’s children. For more information about the NSLP, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/lunch/. For more information about Florida’s Food and Nutrition Management Program, visit http://www.fldoe.org/FNM/.