Sarasota County Schools News

Guests serve National School Lunch Week menu October 9-13

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Eric Robinson Lunch Week 2017Shirley Lunch Week 2017Ray Lunch Week 2017

SERVING IT UP from top to bottom: In celebration of National School Lunch Week 2017 School Board members Eric Robinson, Shirley Brown and Laurel Nokomis School Principal Ray Wilson serve lunch.

SARASOTA COUNTY, Oct. 6, 2017 – The Sarasota County School District is celebrating National School Lunch Week Oct. 9-13 with appearances by guest servers at various school cafeterias around the district, including School Board members; Superintendent Todd Bowden; police officers, deputies and firefighters; school principals and district administrators. The guest servers will take shifts at various schools, offering students such diverse lunch selections as Grilled Cheese Paninis, Vegetarian Taco Salad, Miami Beef Cheeseburgers, Mandarin Chicken Salad and the ever-popular Nachos with Chili and Cheese.

On an average day, Sarasota County Schools serves students an average of about 6,300 breakfasts, 22,000 lunches, 650 after-school snacks and 930 suppers. The regular cost is $2.25 at elementary schools, $2.50 at middle schools and $2.75 to $3 at high schools. However, through Friday, Oct. 20, all students are receiving free meals, thanks to the USDA and Florida Department of Agriculture, which are making meals available at no cost to students in counties affected by Hurricane Irma, including Sarasota County.

Beverly Girard, director of Food and Nutrition Services, reports that the percentage of students receiving year-round free lunches and reduced-cost lunches at a cost of 40 cents each reached a district average of 51 percent last school year.

“We urge eligible families to apply for their children to receive free or reduced-cost meals if it will help their financial situation,” said Girard. “Even if they are only in need of assistance temporarily, we encourage parents and guardians to consider this opportunity. Our online application system makes it fast and easy for families to apply for meal benefits.”

The National School Lunch Program began in 1946 when President Harry Truman signed the National School Lunch Act into law. Since then public schools throughout the nation have served nutritious meals to billions of students. Ninety-five percent of schools participate in the program; 30 million children are served daily. The meals are offered to students at a low cost or no cost to parents, thanks to a bounteous food supply, dedicated staff members and help from federal funding. President Kennedy proclaimed the first National School Lunch Week in 1963.

Nationally, school lunches must include protein, fruits and vegetables, grains and low-fat milk, served in age-appropriate portions. Menus in Sarasota County Schools’ cafeterias reflect the national goal of providing wholesome, healthy food that students like to eat. More information about the free and reduced-cost lunch program, including the online application, school lunch menus, costs and nutritional information, is available at

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