The campaign had lessons on good nutrition and good citizenship.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Pupils in Ohio and Pennsylvania schools say that "Pete Pizza" is their favorite school lunch.
They aren't alone.
More than 220,000 pupils across the nation made the same choice in the School Nutrition Association's "Vote for School Lunch" campaign conducted this fall.
The nonprofit association represents more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to pupils across the country and devised the favorite lunch election to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the National School Lunch Program.
Nationwide, 95 percent of schools participate in the program, and 29 million children are served daily.
The campaign transformed five healthful versions of favorite lunches into fun, lifelike candidates and asked schoolchildren to vote in their schools or online for their favorite.
Schools across the country had rallies, candidate debates and elections, teaching the dual lessons of good nutrition and good citizenship.
Pete Pizza, made with whole wheat crust and low-fat mozzarella cheese, was the top vote-getter, followed by Ricky Chicken, baked rather than fried and coated in a whole-grain breading.
The other candidates in order of finish were: Heddi Spaghetti, lean meat sauce over whole-wheat pasta; Rocco Taco, veggies, lean meat and low-fat cheese; and Sally Salad, greens and veggies with low-fat dressing
Ohio pupils selected Heddi Spaghetti as their second choice while Pennsylvania kids followed the national trend and selected Ricky Chicken as No. 2.