Food for Thought
Students cannot focus on academics if their stomachs are empty. That’s why the Food Services Department of Petersburg City Public Schools works to ensure that children receive nutritious meals.
Free meals for all students
Free breakfasts and lunches are provided for every Petersburg student as part of the Community Eligibility Provision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Starting on the first day of school and continuing every day that school is in session, Petersburg students receive free nutritious breakfasts and lunches. Petersburg was one of the first two districts to qualify when the program became available in Virginia; 2014-15 was the first school year that Petersburg was covered by the Community Eligibility Provision. The breakfasts are grab-and-go, allowing students to select their breakfast as they arrive at school and eat it in their classroom. This allows an earlier start for instruction. Lunches are served and eaten in school cafeterias.
The Community Eligibility Provision allows school districts with high percentages of low-income children to drop the complicated application process for families and offer free breakfasts and lunches to all students. This improves access to nutritious meals, simplifies life for families, cuts down on time spent in cashier lines and eliminates any stigma attached to the “free and reduced-price meal” label. The Community Eligibility Provision continues over the summer so students can continue to receive free breakfasts and lunches at summer school and other sites. Click here to learn more about this federal program.
Trying something new
Westview Early Childhood Education Center and all four elementary schools participate annually in a federal program that provides samples of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school year. Through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, students can sample delicious and nutritious foods they might not otherwise encounter, such as kiwi fruit, fresh pineapple and spinach.
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is an important tool in efforts to combat childhood obesity by successfully introducing children to a variety of produce that they otherwise might not sample. Click here for more information about this federal program.