Madison Crabtree and Gerardo Marrujo, kindergarten pupils at Lewiston Elementary, load up their lunch plates in the school cafeteria. Columbia County schools are celebrating National School Lunch Week. This year's theme is "Reach Your Peak with School Nutrition." Participating schools will hold special events throughout the week.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
School officials regularly encourage pupils to eat a healthy lunch. This week, they'll advocate that pupils exercise, too.
National School Lunch Week kicks off in Columbia County schools Monday with the theme "Reach Your Peak with School Nutrition."
"The emphasis this year is on getting kids to eat well and to exercise," Columbia County Schools Nutrition Coordinator Jo Marie Lombard said. "The peak idea meaning getting into activities like hiking or running a race. It has to do with the climbing-a-mountain idea to reach your peak."
Participating county schools will hold events to celebrate lunch week.
Spanish classes at Grovetown Middle School have developed a special menu and decorations on Christopher Columbus reaching his peak by discovering America, Lombard said.
Several elementary schools are inviting parents to eat with their children. Some schools will have area personalities serving pupils in the lunch line, such as Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle at Greenbrier High School.
Schools Superintendent Tommy Price and Associate Superintendents Charles Nagle and Lauren Williams also will help serve in a lunch line, Lombard said.
Lombard expects to be serving pupils somewhere herself.
"I fill in anyway wherever I see a need, so it probably wouldn't be so special to see me put on an apron and go behind a lunch line," she said.
Although the school events are associated with eating, officials hope to target pupils' waistlines, Lombard said.
"Right now, we're very concerned about childhood obesity and the fact that children are not moving around as much as they used to," she said.
"We're encouraging kids to get off the sofa, put down the computer game and go outside and do something."
Columbia County school lunch program By the Numbers
There are 13,000 lunches served daily. In 2003-04, school lunchrooms served:
66,630 pounds of cheese
5,420 pounds of peanut butter
52,320 pudding cups
250,000 chicken patties
2.7 million packets of ketchup
2,388,000 cartons of milk
25,000 pounds of salad mix
225,000 bowls of cereal
525,000 cartons of juice
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.