Amp Up Your National School Lunch Week Program with These Creative and Fun Ideas

Celebrate National School Lunch Week with these creative ideas to gain participation and involvement.

School nutrition worker - national school lunch week

National School Lunch Week (NSLW) is back and ready to groove! This year’s theme? Peace, Love, & School Lunch! This week-long celebration takes place October 10-14, 2022 and brings a great opportunity for school nutrition programs across the country to promote their programs and celebrate school lunch.

Why is celebrating this week important?

We’re so glad you asked!
Celebrating National School Lunch Week is an amazing opportunity for districts and Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) departments to shine a light on the great things your program is doing. NSLW is an excellent opportunity to get students excited about school lunch and to boost participation in your lunch program. To get you in the spirit we’ve put together a few benefits of celebrating NSLW at your school.

Set the Scene for Success and Boost School Lunch Participation

National School Lunch Week is the perfect time to get creative with your team. Build off of SNA’s groovy theme to celebrate and boost participation in your nutrition program. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the look of excitement and joy in students’ eyes as they walk into the freshly decorated lunchroom.

Have fun! Grab a fun costume or accessories and jazz up your lunch line with decorations.

  • A new environment can get students excited to celebrate and spark their interest in trying new menu options.
  • Students who don’t usually eat in the lunchroom will see their friends participating and want to join in on the fun.
  • Dress in funky costumes to interact with students as they walk through your lines.

Motivate your Team

The last few years have been quite challenging for food and nutrition professionals. Food service employees fill an essential role in student outcomes making sure they are well-fed and smiling.  A key ingredient to retaining employees and keeping them motivated is recognition. NSLW is a great time to publicly recognize members of your team.

  • Make it a collaborative affair. Have team members vote for their fellow coworkers who exemplify excellence, and work hard to serve nutritious meals for students to enjoy.
  • Snap a picture of your lunchroom superstar and post it in the lunchroom or on social media for all to see.
  • Does your school do announcements? Promote NSLW and give a shout-out to the team member celebrated by their peers.

Promote your Program

As Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Use NSLW as your dance floor to get students involved and make them feel good about school lunch.

  • Connect with your district’s nutritionists and meal planners to promote any new lunch items.
  • Take a moment to educate students on the nutritious benefits that they get from certain foods.
  • Invite students to a taste test and get feedback by asking them to vote on their favorite items. Who doesn’t like a free sample…am I right?
  • Invite your principal, teachers, and administrators to dress up and join the fun as a guest server and play games (food BINGO anyone?) Students will feel special, and this is a great avenue for media coverage of your program.

Thanks to all of the food nutrition professionals who provide nourishing meals for our students so they are ready to learn. We salute all of the individuals who make school food service possible each day and hope that you have a slammin’ NSLW!