While no members of the public showed up for the hearing, Travis Hamby, the assistant superintendent of personnel and operations, and Food Services Director Paula Maddox presented the report to the board. Hamby said that a committee with representatives from each of the district’s four schools divided responsibilities to analyze meals served and how much exercise the students get. Hamby said that research shows a link between physical activity and success in the classroom. He said that although none of the schools meet the goal of 150 minutes of physical activity each week, primary and intermediate students get 20 minutes of recess every day. He said that the “Take 10” program had also been successful at integrating physical activity into classroom instruction.
Superintendent Tim McGinnis asked Maddox how the preparation of meals had changed over the years to be healthier. Maddox said that use of the deep fryer had become very infrequent and was now used only when frying okra, fried chicken tenders and battered squash. She said the cafeteria used to have some kind of dessert with each meal, but that sweets were now limited to once a week. She said that there were now more selections of fresh fruits, which was costly but worth it. Salads are also offered every day, she said. The report card itself examined an average week of lunches, and the meals contained an average of 739 calories, which was exactly the target for grades four through nine, Maddox said.
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