More than a meal: Baldwin schools promotes students’ health

District serves thousands of nutritious meals and snacks a month at no cost to families

BALDWIN — Baldwin Community Schools serves an average 7,000 meals each month, going above and beyond to keep students well-nourished while supporting their growth and development.

The district provides breakfast, lunch and snacks at no cost to all students during the school day and serves dinner and a snack to students who participate in the after-school enrichment program at the elementary school. Students in Baldwin’s preschool program are also served breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.

Baldwin meets federal requirements to receive state and federal funding to cover the cost of school meals for all students.

Food Service Director Shelly McGhee has been with Baldwin for more than 35 years and is passionate about dishing up healthy, delicious meals for her students.

“I take great pride in serving our wonderful students each day, making sure they have access to a wide range of nutritious food offerings so they can learn and grow without worrying about where their next meal comes from,” McGhee said. “Whether it’s pancakes and sausage for breakfast, fresh fruit for a snack, or homemade lasagna for lunch, there’s no shortage of options for our students.”

For a strong start to the day, students are offered a selection of different hot and cold breakfast options in the elementary and junior-senior high school cafeterias, such as pancakes and sausage, yogurt and cereal.

Elementary students receive fresh fruit and vegetables for mid-morning snacks each day as part of a federal program designed to combat childhood obesity and introduce young children to a wider variety of fresh produce.

Next up is lunch, which features a variety of customized menu items every day. The junior-senior high school has stations for the students to choose homemade pizza, grilled items, sub sandwich bar, nacho/taco bar, salad bar and daily homemade classics such as lasagna and chili.

Children who take part in the elementary after-school enrichment program are served dinner and snack before they’re dismissed at 5 p.m.

The meals don’t stop during the summer break. Any child in Lake County can come to the school for free breakfast and lunch throughout the summer.

“At Baldwin Community Schools, we are committed to supporting our students and families so our children can grow up healthy, strong and set up for success,” Superintendent David Forrester said. “I’d like to thank Shelly and our wonderful food service staff for serving our students tasty, well-rounded meals each day.”