Loudoun County Public Schools to Celebrate National School Lunch Week
“Show Your Spirit” during #NSLW16
Ashburn, VA – September 21, 2016 – To recognize the National School Lunch Program and the 30 million children it serves every day, Loudoun County schools will recognize National School Lunch Week from October 10-14, 2016. The theme, “Show Your Spirit” is all about getting parents, students and school officials to show their spirit for school lunch.
National School Lunch Week will emphasize the healthy foods that are offered daily at Loudoun County schools. All high school students have the opportunity to participate in a student video contest promoting school lunch. Kenneth Colbert Elementary will host local farmer, Ellen Polishuk from Potomac Vegetable Farms, for a farmer trading card signing during school lunch to celebrate National Farmer Day on October 12th. Promotional events and activities including trivia activities, guest servers, special lunch guests, and giveaways are scheduled at many schools across the district to help students understand the importance of eating a healthy school lunch.
“School lunches are healthier than ever, with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less fat and sodium” said Dr. Becky Domokos-Bays, Supervisor of School Nutrition. “National School Lunch Week helps us educate parents and students about all the benefits of our lunch program, and the appealing choices we offer”.
Students are offered a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that include items grown locally. Loudoun County students can enjoy some of the new wraps, cold sandwiches, salads, 100% all-beef burgers, and the new vegetarian “beefy” crumble that is used in the tacos this year. Hummus and vegetable meal kits are also offered as a vegetarian option during lunch. The middle and high school students have a daily self-serve fruit and vegetable bar so that they can select as much as they would like.
The federally-funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides nutritionally balanced, healthy meals to students during the school week. The program, which has been serving the nation’s children for over 60 years, requires school meals to meet federal nutrition standards which includes offering fruits and vegetables every day, serving whole-grain rich foods, and limiting fat, calories, and sodium.
The LCPS community is encouraged to use the hashtag #LCPSLunch so that School Nutrition and track and share all promotions and events that are occurring in the district.
Our Harvest of the Month program is back in full swing for the new school year!! All K-12 students will have the opportunity to try a seasonal fruit or vegetable at no cost during school lunch. This is open to all students, not just those who purchase school lunch that day. The first feature items will be mushrooms! Elementary students can try them on September 15th during Taste It Thursday and our Middle and High School students will get to test their fears of trying new foods on September 16th during Fear Factor Friday.
New this year, we are providing recipes that feature the item our students tried that week. The recipes have few ingredients, are low in cost, and are easy to make in order to help promote more of our families cooking together at home! Recipe cards will also be available on the day that these items are offered for students to try.
Check out our first recipe of the year below!
Recipe adapted from Hungry Happens
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
Becky Domokos-Bays Named 2016-17 President of the School Nutrition Association
SAN ANTONIO, TX – During its 70th Annual National Conference, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) installed Becky Domokos-Bays, PhD, RD, SNS, as president for the 2016-17 school year. Dr. Domokos-Bays, Supervisor of School Nutrition Services for Loudoun County Public Schools in Va., will represent SNA’s 56,000 school nutrition professional members nationwide.
Since September 2014, Domokos-Bays has managed school meal programs in Loudoun County, one of the fastest growing school districts in the nation. With 430 employees, the School Nutrition Services team serves more than 73,000 students in 87 schools, with plans to open one new school every year through 2022.
With just 17 percent of students eligible for free or reduced price meals, Domokos-Bays is focused on attracting new students to the cafeteria. She has hosted taste tests and surveyed students to gather feedback on menu items, and is utilizing social media to reach students and families. She also launched a new grab-and-go breakfast program that has helped boost breakfast participation by 28 percent districtwide.
To promote the nutritious choices available with school meals, Domokos-Bays introduced monthly “Taste It Thursday” and “Fear Factor Friday” events to allow students to sample different fruits and vegetables. With a goal of sourcing 30 percent of foods locally within 3 years, Domokos-Bays has expanded the district’s Farm to School program and is partnering with school garden coordinators to feature harvests on the menu. She also helped add nutrition education programming to the district’s after school programs.
Domokos-Bays has partnered with community groups to strengthen staff skills. She arranged for a local chef to train managers in knife skills and develop signature spice blends for use in recipes. Domokos-Bays has also been recognized by the district for improving the program’s financial systems and strategic planning.
Previously, Domokos-Bays served for 12 years as Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) in VA. She is credited with launching Breakfast in the Classroom, afterschool snack, supper and summer feeding programs to ensure students in need have consistent access to good nutrition. Under her tenure, ACPS earned designation as an SNA District of Excellence and received several HealthierUS Challenge Awards. Prior to her time at ACPS, she served for 14 years as Support Operations Specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools.
Domokos-Bays has a long history of service to SNA, starting as the Executive Director of the then-Georgia School Foodservice Association. She is a Past President of the School Nutrition Association of Virginia. Domokos-Bays served as chair of SNA’s Nutrition Committee prior to her 2013 election as Vice President.
Domokos-Bays earned a doctorate in adult and continuing education and a master’s in human nutrition and foods from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her bachelor of science degree in dietetics is from Marshall University.
About the School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 56,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated tomaking healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students.For more information about ANC, visitwww.schoolnutrition.org/anc.
Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) School Nutrition Services received a “One in a Melon” Award from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its efforts to bring fresh, local produce to the students eating in school cafeterias each day.
Strawberries are a versatile fruit- they make a great snack or dessert, but can also pair nicely with salty foods or meats to balance savory flavors with a touch of sweetness! Try this easy 5-ingredient salsa at your next cookout- either on top of some grilled chicken, or as a dip for chips!
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and finely diced
- 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, finely diced
- Half of a small red onion, peeled and finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2/3 cup finely-chopped fresh cilantro, loosely-packed
- Juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
- (Pinch of salt and black pepper)
Toss all ingredients together until combined. Season with extra salt and pepper if needed. If you would like a sweeter salsa, feel free to stir in a few teaspoons of warmed honey.
Recipe From: Gimme Some Oven