Fourth-grader E.J. Briles digs into fresh-made lasagna and Caesar salad at Lincoln County's Midway Elementary. In West Virginia's seven-county pilot project this year, school cooks proved they can cook five days a week with fresh ingredients. "We're teaching the kids about healthy living, not just reading and math," said principal Cheryl Workman.
When kids have afternoon fresh fruit and vegetable snacks they choose them at mealtime too, teachers say. "We see this as an education program, not just a feeding program," said Mingo County food services director Kay Maynard.
"It's going to save money in the end if we feed all our children and encourage them to eat nutritious meals. Then maybe there won't be 30 percent of our fifth-graders who are obese. Maybe there won't be 25 percent who have high blood pressure and high cholesterol."
-- Jorea Marple, state Superintendent of Schools
"The news is good, very good. Next summer, we plan to train cooks from all over the state to cook from scratch."
-- Rick Goff, director of the Office of Child Nutrition