It’s getting wild this National School Lunch Week!

Schools across the country are “Wild About School Lunch” and celebrating National School Lunch Week, October 11-15. This year, lunch is available for free to all students and the efforts of school nutrition professionals ensure healthy lunches are being served, despite unprecedented nationwide supply chain and staffing challenges stemming from the pandemic. 

Chesapeake Public Schools (VA) has seen high demand in their cafeterias, serving 14,000 lunches and 8,000 breakfasts in one day just two weeks into the school year.  Even amid food supply and staffing shortages, the nutrition team is finding creative ways to make last-minute menu changes and overcome disruptions to nourish students.

Chesapeake Public Schools’ Director of School Nutrition Services Larry Wade and his team are focused on making sure every student will continue to receive a nutritious meal free of charge.  In keeping with the “Wild About School Lunch” theme, Chesapeake cafeterias are decked out with animal themed fruit sculptures. On the menu this week: Buffalo-roni (Beefaroni), Chicken Owl-fredo (Alfredo), Gorilla-d (Grilled) cheese sandwich, peanut butter + Jungle Jelly and Safari Sides.   

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Lunch trays at CPS are filled with healthy options, despite supply chain disruption felt by the program.

Even during these unpredictable times, school nutrition departments are doing their best to keep lunchtime fun and encouraging for both students and staff.

Larry praised his staff saying, “Every day we essentially operate 45 restaurants with a variety of different menu options.  Our centralize warehouse is having to adjust, pivot and swap menu items based on the lack of weekly and daily food deliveries.”

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