The mission of the Food and Nutrition Services is to provide the students of St. Lucie County with nutritious, high-quality food choices to enhance their ability to learn. To acquire this mission, many duties and responsibilities must be put in place to ensure the successful delivery of nutritious meals and snacks to all students in all schools of the St. Lucie County school district.
The food and nutrition services department of the St. Lucie County school district is well staffed with knowledgeable individuals on Nutrition. The efficiently ran department by its director, Deborah Wuest, has three Food and Nutrition Area Specialists, a Senior Meal Specialist, a Food and Nutrition Purchasing Specialist, a Food and Nutrition Zone Computer Technician, Food and Nutrition Accountant and others including the Food Service Managers at each school. The department was recently designated by the National School Nutrition Association as a “District of Excellence in School Nutrition”.
St. Lucie County’s school district is on the Treasure Coast along with Indian River, Martin and parts of Palm Beach counties. Palm Beach County has the largest school district in the group with 188 school locations; St. Lucie County has 41 school locations followed by Indian River with 32 and Martin County with 25.
Back in December of 2010, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act which reauthorized federal school meal programs; in a press release issued December 2, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, had this to say:
“Today, Congress approved a bill that will make the most significant investment in the National School Lunch program in more than 30 years. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act will increase healthy choices in school cafeterias across the country. These changes will help schools fight our country’s childhood obesity epidemic and give students access to the nutritional food they need to help them learn. I look forward to working with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to provide students with the healthy foods they need and deserve.”
In the St. Lucie County school district, the use of the National School Lunch & Breakfast Program secures the fact that students will receive meals based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans which describes a healthy diet as one that:
- Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
- Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
- Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
School meals allow a student to obtain a balanced meal at a reasonable cost. Children from families whose income is at or below the Income Eligibility Guidelines may qualify for free or reduced price lunch and breakfast meals by completing an application at their child’s school.