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Press Release

Monday, October 13, 2008

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education Celebrates National School Lunch Week

~ Vote for School Lunch campaign calls attention to the importance of eating a healthy lunch ~

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Education today began its celebration of National School Lunch Week (NSLW). The national celebration centers on the award-winning Vote for School Lunch campaign, which gives children the chance to learn about and vote for their favorite school lunch. In addition to the campaign, schools around the state will concentrate efforts on educating students and parents about the benefits of healthy food choices and physical fitness activities.

“A nutritious and balanced lunch can have a tremendous impact on not only the well-being of students, but their overall academic performance as well,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “As children participate in the activities of this week’s celebration, they will learn to make healthy food choices and have fun while doing it.”

As part of NSLW, children can participate in the Vote for School Lunch campaign, which establishes popular and healthy school lunch meals as candidates for President of School Lunch. This year’s candidates represent a variety of nutritious foods and include the 2007 winner Biff Burger, 2006’s winner Pete Pizza, and three new contenders that were designed and submitted by students: Gloria Grilled Cheese, Larry Lasagna and Petunia Pita Pocket. Candidates campaign on the nutritional benefits of their school meal versions as well as their physical fitness and extracurricular activities.

Votes for each candidate are being collected from October 13-17, and the winner will be announced on October 24. Individuals interested in learning more about the candidates or casting votes should visit www.VoteForSchoolLunch.org.

During NSLW, fun events and activities will be held throughout the state to help celebrate the benefits of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Established in 1946, the NSLP is the largest of the federal child nutrition programs, with 29 million children served lunch every day in more than 99,000 schools. For more information about Florida’s Food and Nutrition Management Program, visit http://www.fldoe.org/FNM/.