Roll Out the Red Carpet for NSLW

Date: September 11, 2020 Posted by rebekah.harvell Mail Twitter Facebook

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Your school meal program undoubtedly looks different this year than in years’ past. With rising food insecurity due to COVID-19, school meals are paramount to ensuring students learn and grow. Especially this year, school lunch is worth celebrating during National School Lunch Week, October 12-16.

National School Lunch Week is a prime opportunity to promote the value of your school lunch program to parents, students, staff and elected officials. The School Nutrition Association has chosen a movie theme, “Now Playing: National School Lunch Week,” for the annual commemorative occasion. The theme makes possible fun activities, event ideas and engaging visuals. SNA’s free downloadable toolkit has pages and pages of ideas for you to use to draw your kids and parents into the power of school lunch, whether lunch is in the classroom, cafeteria or at home.

Here are a few of SNA’s many creative ideas:

Meals in the Classroom: Include one “lucky bag” for each classroom and pack it with an age-appropriate giveaway, such as a movie-theme bookmark, ruler, pencil or package of stickers or crayons. If meal components are distributed separately, mark one with a gold star on the bottom of the package.

Meals to Go: Throughout late September, encourage families to submit short videos or photos of remote-learners picking up meals, eating school meals or making dishes together from meal kits or recipes suggested by your team. Work with an A/V teacher, film student or ask a tech-savvy staffer to use a “slideshow” app to stitch these together into a simple “documentary” that celebrates students, school meals, cooking, gardening and so on. Post this movie on your social media pages or website and promote it throughout NSLW.

Grab & Go: If students will be picking up their lunches from hallway kiosks before heading back to classrooms, consider theme-ing the cart, kiosk or mobile station as a “Box Office” or a “Movie Concessions Stand” or creating a “marquee”-style banner to advertise the day’s menu offerings.

Meals in the Cafeteria: Provide small samples of a brand-new menu item and market it as its “world premiere.” Use a simple posterboard featuring “thumbs up or thumbs down” column headers and ask students to record their reaction to the new item using a colored dot label on the appropriate side of the display.

All: Designate a specific movie theme for days during NSLW. Encourage staff, volunteers and families to wear a costume tied to that theme.

You might also consider:

  • Renaming your meals each day that week with a title that plays off the name of characters in kid-friendly movies. Referencing Buzz Lightyear, Simba, Elsa and other characters can bring a smile to kids’ faces.
  • Encouraging parents and their kids to collaborate on a recipe featured in Disney movies, such as the cheese souffle from Beauty and the Beast or Snow White’s goosebury pie.
  • Roll out the red carpet, literally, in the cafeteria, near grab & go stations or at meal pickup sites.

However you choose mark the occasion, be sure to post photos on social media with the hashtag #NSLW20. Drop us a note about your celebration as well!