National School Lunch Week was last week, October 11–15, and New Jersey has more than 800 schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program. Three school districts that are exemplary in implementing their feeding program are Newark, Jackson and Bridgeton.
“These school districts along with so many others have maintained a high standard of excellence,” NJDA Secretary Douglas Fisher said. “School meals provide much needed nutrition for students that helps them perform at their highest levels both in the classroom and in extra-curricular activities while forming healthy eating habits for life.”
The Bridgeton School District here in Cumberland County has 10 schools with two preschools, and serves Early College High School on the campus of Rowan College of South Jersey. Bridgeton is considered a 5-star Nutrition Hub by the NJDA and along with the National School Lunch Program, participates in the New Jersey Farm to School Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program.
“We want to serve the finest meals available to everyone in our schools,” said Warren DeShields, director of food services for Bridgeton Public Schools. “Our students deserve the best and we believe that feeding education is always on the menu.”
New Jersey schools follow the nutrition standards set forth by the USDA, which incorporate a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat and fat-free milk options, with limits on saturated fats, trans-fats, sodium, and calories.
National School Lunch Week was created by the School Nutrition Association to encourage participation in the National School Lunch Program and recognize the school districts providing healthy meals every day. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture administers the program in the Garden State. To learn more about the state’s school lunch program go to bit.ly/3mOp9hy.