The Duval County Public Schools Nutrition Program exposes students to various healthy options using flavorful ingredients. Menus are developed with wholesome, minimally processed ingredients using single-source, clean-label products and serving locally grown produce with nutrition standards based on the USDA school meal pattern regulations, offering items low in sodium and fat and rich in whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables focusing on serving local produce.
For the 2021-2022 school year, the district is operating under the Seamless Summer Option, so meals are free for all students. Reduced COVID-19 restrictions have allowed the district’s Nutrition Program to offer even more variety with menus that transition seasonally and introduce a new menu concept in high schools—the Food Truck Takeover—with weekly dishes inspired by food truck favorites.
The nutrition program continues to work closely with local farmers to buy and serve local fruits and vegetables to students, with over of the produce used being grown within Florida. Not only does this partnership continue the farm-to-table trend, but it gives the program an opportunity to introduce students to a wide variety of fresh new foods and flavors while also benefitting the farmers and the entire community.
The local produce program has also seen an integral driver in providing nutrition education in a fun and engaging way through programs such as Discovery Kitchen Cook-Off, which allows students to feel like the top chef on their own cooking show, and the Student Choice Food Shows that give students a voice in deciding menu options.