Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Superintendent Luna to Raise Money for Idaho Students in Need

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna announced today he will be raising money for The Idaho Foodbank to help Idaho students who are hungry and in need.

Superintendent Luna will complete the Famous Idaho Potato Marathon on Saturday, May 15, 2010, to promote the importance of health, nutrition, and physical fitness and to raise money for The Idaho Foodbank’s Backpack Program, which provides food for students identified as chronically hungry over the weekend.

“As I have traveled across Idaho, I have seen how The Idaho Foodbank’s Backpack Program has helped hundreds of Idaho students, but many more are still in need. I am honored to have this opportunity through the Famous Potato Marathon to emphasize the importance of nutrition and physical fitness and to raise money so we can help ensure no child goes hungry,” Superintendent Luna said.

You can make a donation online now or learn more about the Backpack Program. To see a short video explanation of the Backpack Program, click here.

The Idaho Foodbank works in partnership with school officials to identify chronically hungry children who could benefit from the Backpack Program. With parental permission, backpacks are distributed discreetly to participating children on Fridays or the last day of the school week. The weekend backpack provides two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, and two snacks. Meal plans are reviewed by a dietitian, and the contents of each backpack are nutritious, child-friendly, easy to prepare and non-perishable.

Currently, The Idaho Foodbank distributes 1,780 backpack refills each week throughout Idaho. However, the need is much greater, and with additional funding support, the Foodbank could distribute 7,000 refills a week.

Superintendent Luna has already completed two marathons since taking office in 2007. He wants to use this third marathon as an opportunity to help meet the growing need among Idaho students.

To help support this cause, please contact the Idaho Foodbank and make a donation under “Superintendent Luna’s Strides for Students.”

Since taking office in 2007, Superintendent Luna has worked to improve the health and nutrition of students across Idaho.

In 2008, he established the Coordinated School Health Team at the State Department of Education with representatives from the Health Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Child Nutrition, Health and Welfare, and Physical Activity programs working together to improve health, nutrition and physical fitness in Idaho schools. Last year, the Coordinated School Health Team awarded $50,000 in federal grants to Idaho schools.

In addition, in 2009, Superintendent Luna unveiled New Nutrition Standards for School Meals, which are more nutritious than current federal standards. As a result, Idaho schools are now serving more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Schools have discontinued serving deep-fat fried foods and foods with trans fats.

~ Melissa M.

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