The School Nutrition Services Department of Chesapeake Public Schools provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free meals to more than 10,000 students at breakfast and more than 16,500 students at lunch each school day through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs. In 1998, Congress expanded the National School Lunch Program to include assistance for snacks served to children in after school educational and enrichment programs. Last school year, over 9,400 snacks were served to students participating in these after school programs. Under the Child and Adult Care Food Program-At Risk After School Meals, supper and snacks are offered to students enrolled in after school care community programs. Chesapeake Public Schools also participate in the Summer Food Service Program serving over 2,000 meals each day during June, July, and August.
School meals must meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for the appropriate age group. School lunch provides approximately one-third of the daily nutrition needs for children and school breakfast provides approximately one-fourth. Regulations establish standards for fat, saturated fat, protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium and calories. Although meals must meet Federal nutrition requirements, school divisions make decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared.
The National School Lunch Act in 1946 created the modern school lunch program. Schools across the nation serve more than 33 million children each day. The federal laws regulating the school food service programs today are administered under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Virginia Department of Education’s Office of School Nutrition. The program has the objective of improving the health of students by providing good, nutritious foods that students will enjoy eating at a price that all students can afford. Another goal is to encourage and promote nutrition education.
We encourage you to discover school meals and invite you to contact our department’s key staff members with your comments or questions at 547-1470 or by e-mail.