TCSS getting creative for National School Lunch Week

Published 10:00 am Friday, October 9, 2020

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Despite school being closed throughout the spring and summer, Troup County School System (TCSS) nutrition employees have been working to provide breakfast and lunch meals to children 18 and under in the county.

According to TCSS, some days they served more than 30,000 meals.

Next week is National School Lunch Week (NSLW), and the TCSS employees are gearing up for the week ahead.

TCSS Director of Public Relations Yolanda Stephen said this year’s theme is centered around movies and is titled ‘Now Playing: School Lunch.’

“Each school has chosen what movie theme they want to do,” Stephen said. “They will use that theme for the week. In the cafeteria, they will be playing different things on the radio over the loud speakers, and they will have different trivia to get the kids involved.”

Stephen said the whole goal of NSLW was to get students to understand why it is important to have a balanced, healthy breakfast and lunch.

During the week, employees will find new ways to safely celebrate in their schools and place a spotlight on hit menu items that students love.

TCSS’s Nutrition Department is hosting a decorating competition between all schools to determine the best interpretation of the movie themes. 

“National School Lunch Week provides us an opportunity to highlight our awesome employees and educate parents and students about the benefits of the school lunch program. As always, we focus on serving students enjoyable, exciting meals that are seasonally appropriate,” said Director of School Nutrition Diane Pain. “Before adding any new menu item, it’s important we sample it with students. They provide the feedback, and we make adjustments and add as necessary.”

Stephen added that the lunch room has looked differently this year.

Based on grade level, students have either had bagged lunches or tray lunches to follow CDC guidelines. She said that there are different menu items based on elementary, middle or high school grades.

“They are also doing a lot of cleaning inbetween each lunch group,” Stephen said. “High schools have outside lunch, so they have tables and chairs outside, and they’ve had to bring in more to make sure students are social distancing. They’re doing a lot of different things just to make sure students and staff are safe.”