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 incorporating locally grown produce. Its nutrition standards are based on the USDA school meal pattern regulations, offering items low in sodium and fat and rich in whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables with a focus on serving local produce.
For the 2022-2023 school year, the district plans to continue to serve meals at no cost to all students by qualifying for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). Reduced COVID- 19 restrictions have allowed the nutrition program to offer even more variety with menus that transition seasonally and introduce a new menu concept called Student Choice in the high schools that gives students a voice in deciding what food concepts are featured and new menu items be available. Student Choice brings the latest food trends to school menus with quarterly voting events.
As gathering student feedback is very important, the nutrition program encourages students to have a say in what is served in their cafés through events like the Food Show, an annual student-focused interactive tradeshow event that allows students to learn, connect and vote on potential new school menu items from the program’s national brand partners.
The nutrition program also continues to partner with local farmers to buy and serve local fruits and vegetables to students, with over 50% of produce used being grown within Florida. Not only does this partnership continue the farm-to-table trend, but it’s an opportunity to introduce students to a wide variety of fresh new foods and flavors while also benefitting the farmers and the entire community.
As an integral driver in providing nutrition education in a fun and engaging way, the district’s nutrition program hosts programs like Discovery Kitchen Cook-Off, which allows students to feel like the top chef on their very own cooking show, and the Get to Know the Grower program, which brings local farmers into the classroom to educate students.
Duval County Public Schools operates under the Universal School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program, After-School Snack Program, Supper Program and the Summer Food Service Program.