Behind the scenes on school lunch meals

West Virginia

"Sometimes they may not get what they need from home, so we provide the best we can."

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — Jefferson County Public Schools enrolls over 9,000 students but feed roughly about 7,500 of them daily. Their main focus is using county-grown fruits and vegetables to feed their students.

The reason for not outsourcing is simple, the only way to know what your child is eating is if you know exactly where their food comes from.

“Child nutrition is very important to our students, you can’t teach a child that’s hungry so it’s very important that they have balanced, nutritious meals given to them by the school system.” said JCPS Child Nutrition Coordinator, Jinny Demastes.

According to the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention, a diet should emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk products. The diet should also include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.

“Type two diabetes is the biggest thing it can cause if you’re not eating a well-balanced meal with all your fruits and vegetables, and that’s been a big problem in the state of West Virginia.” said Demastes.

The National School Lunch Program serves 30 million children each day and has been a federal program for over 70 years. In celebration of National School Lunch Week, JCPS Cooks say they enjoy coming up with new lunch ideas every week for the kids. However, the meals may have a deeper meaning.

“Nutrition is important because a lot of these kids don’t get what they need at home, and they come here for that nutrition so it’s up to us to provide that.”said JCPS Cook Kimberly Boyd.

Many of the Jackson Page Elementary School students said that their favorite lunch meal is the chicken patty on wheat bun with broccoli.

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