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U-46 Food and Nutrition Services to be Honored for Achievement Ahead of National School Lunch Week

Oct. 7, 2019 

School District U-46’s Food and Nutrition Services department will be honored with an “Accent on Achievement” during Monday night’s Board of Education meeting just ahead of National School Lunch Week.

The federally-funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) has been serving the nation’s children since 1946 and provides nutritionally balanced, healthy meals to more than 30 million children every day. National School Lunch Week will be celebrated in schools across the country Oct. 14-18, 2019.

Commissary at Food and Nutrition Services department

School District U-46 serves 3.35 million lunches annually, with an average of 18,700 students eating a school lunch each day, said Elena Hildreth, director of the Food and Nutrition Services department.

“I’m proud of the strides my team has made in making school lunches healthier and more appealing to students,” Hildreth said. “School lunch is an important part of ensuring students have the fuel they need to learn and grow.”

Nine of the District’s elementary schools offer salad bars where students can customize their own salad; 10 more salad bars will open by January 2020. Elementary students now also have the option of a cold or hot lunch entree each day.

At the secondary level, a number of “house special” pizzas are offered, and stations have been set up so students can customize everything from pasta to rice bowls, chicken wings to baked potatoes.

Starting this school year, the District is now also working to ensure the custom meals it offers to students with documented allergies are similar to the meals served off the primary menu. 

“Our dietician works closely with our nurses and families to ensure they have allergy sensitive meals available that are as close as possible to the posted menu,” Hildreth said.

Schools throughout the District will be celebrating National School Lunch Week with games, activities, and special menus.

Hildreth will be at Monday’s Board meeting to accept the “Accent on Achievement” certificate for the Food and Nutrition Services department at 7 p.m. in room 140 at the Educational Services Center.