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Press Release

Monday, October 12, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida Celebrates National School Lunch Week
~ All-Star School Lunch campaign highlights the benefits of a nutritional lunch ~

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Education today “tipped-off” its celebration of National School Lunch Week with a new basketball inspired campaign. Celebrated October 12-16, 2009, All-Star School Lunch Week uses fun sports themed activities and contests to promote the significant health benefits of eating a wholesome school lunch. Throughout the week schools around the state will focus on educating students about healthy eating and exercise habits.

“Studies have shown that eating a healthy and balanced lunch has a significant influence on students’ behavior, focus, and overall academic performance,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “All-Star School Lunch is a great campaign that allows students to participate in enjoyable activities while learning to make nutritious food choices that will have a positive impact on their wellness in and out of the classroom.”

The National School Lunch Week’s All-Star School Lunch campaign features five fun and health conscious menus known as “basketball teams.” Each “basketball team” pairs a current or former basketball star with nutritious food items to encourage students to eat a healthy lunch. In addition, students can participate in the Draft Your All-Star School Lunch Team Contest which allows students to draft and name their very own All-Star Team, while explaining why their team is healthy. Four national winners will receive a National Basketball Association prize pack.

"Good nutrition is the foundation to a healthy lifestyle," said State Surgeon General Dr. Ana Viamonte Ros. "The All-Star School Lunch campaign will give students the knowledge they need to make healthy food choices that will last a lifetime."

The National School Lunch Program has been serving lunches and educating students about healthy eating since 1946. Last year, Florida schools served 260,514,486 lunches to students. Today, the program operates in over 100,000 schools and provides more than 30 million nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day.

To learn more about the National School Lunch Program, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/. For more information about Florida’s Food and Nutrition Management Program please go to http://www.fldoe.org/FNM/.