FCCPS Food Services Program Receives National 2011 Magna Award
FCCPS Food Services Coordinator, Richard Kane is congratulated for winning the 2011 Magna Award by (from left) George Mason Principal Ty Byrd, FCCPS Superintendent Lois Berlin, Kane, and School Board Chairman Joan Wodiska.
The Falls Church City Public Schoolsâ€™ â€œAccess to Healthy Mealsâ€ program is being recognized nationally as a 2011 Magna Award winner by the National School Boards Association. The award acknowledges the FCCPS Food Services approach to healthy meals, as well as providing free lunch to all students who qualify for free or reduced price lunches, as being one of the best programs in the country.
â€œThe program began in the fall of 2008 as a result of a discussion by school board members concerning childhood obesity reports,â€ said board chair, Joan Wodiska. â€œWe were concerned that students were not eating appropriately or regularly and we wanted to take action to correct that.â€
Under the Falls Church City Public Schools â€œAccess to Healthy Mealsâ€ effort, the school division:
- Eliminated all fried foods and began using whole grains in food preparation
- Installed a salad bar at the high school
- Now makes 75 percent of all meals in elementary schools from scratch, while ensuring that 95 percent of fruits and vegetables provided to students are fresh
- Banned junk food from student vending machines
- Provides â€œto-goâ€ meals for student athletes prepared to coachesâ€™ specifications
- Established partnerships with culinary schools to test foods, demonstrate cooking and promote wellness
- Conducted poster and video contests and student cooking competitions across schools
- Identified new vendors that met policy expectations
- Initiated safe walking routes to schools, while integrating physical education and health curricula into efforts
In addition, Richard Kane, the Food Services Coordinator for FCCPS, determined what it would take to insure that every student who qualified for free or reduced price meals would receive free meals and, with school board approval and endorsement, budgeted according.Â Mr. Kane took a long, hard look at the menus and offerings of the school meals and did adjustments to provide healthful and balanced meals at all FCCPS schools.Â He installed a salad bar at the high school, and did away with most white flour offerings and deep fat frying.
Parents can apply at any time during the school year for free or reduced price meals.Â The process is confidential and qualified students are not identified in any way as they go through the lunch line.
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