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AHS hosts guests for lunch

Andalusia High School invited Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson and Rep. Mike Jones for lunch in its cafeteria to show them just how important school lunches are.

Child nutrition director Shan Burkhardt hoped by bringing the two, they could have a better understanding of how important school lunch is to the town.

“We feed over 1,200 students daily on our campuses with totals from last school year at 225,289 for breakfast, 185,410 for lunch and 24,537 at afterschool snack,” Burkhardt said. “With an enrollment of 1,861 this year, we are steadily continuing to grow,” Burkhardt said. “This is very exciting for Andalusia. We are on track to serve more breakfasts and lunches this year than ever before with a rise in breakfast and lunch of around eight percent as compared to last year.”

Burkhardt said their main concern is finding enough room to accommodate the increase in students.

“During the first few days of the school year, we work hand in hand with the guidance office to move students around into the different lunch waves so we have enough seating for all of the students,” Burkhardt said. “Sharing the cafeteria with the junior high has posed a problem with the timing of lunches, but we start serving at 10:15 a.m., each day to allow ample time for all students to eat.”

Since Burkhardt has introduced the Universal Breakfast, students have the option to eat free breakfast daily.

“We are so fortunate to have several programs at Andalusia City Schools to serve our students and help those with food insecurity,” Burkhardt said. “We have also received a grant this past summer for a food cart that is now in place in our AHS hallway in the mornings for those students that need to grab a free breakfast and go to class. At our elementary school, we have another grant that allows us to serve unique and exotic fruits and vegetables to our students. The fresh fruit and vegetable grant estimated at $54,884.71, affords us this opportunity to all students pre-k through sixth grade. We also serve students at the Woodson Learning Center with our afterschool snack program operated by the City of Andalusia.”

The annual budget for school nutrition in the 2017-2018 year was $1,144,929.

There was an average daily participation for breakfast of 1,248 and an average daily participation for lunch at 999.