The following is a release from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
John Magnarelli, USDA’s top regional school lunch official, presented Bristol Warren Regional School District Elementary Schools with HealthierUS Awards, one of the nation’s highest school nutrition awards, from the US Department of Agriculture.
Magnarelli applauded , , and school students, food service staff and school officials for earning Bronze awards in USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC). Only about 2 percent of schools nationwide have achieved HealthierUS status.
"We are reminded about the importance of providing our children access to nutritious meals so they are able to learn, thrive and grow," said Magnarelli. "Through our HealthierUS School Challenge, USDA recognizes schools that have accepted the challenge of revamping school lunch with meals that look good, taste good and are good for you. These schools have moved away from processed foods to ones that offer fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and reduced levels of fat, salt and sugar.”
Superintendent Melinda L. Thies congratulated all four elementary schools in the district stating, “We are extremely proud of all of our elementary schools in Bristol Warren for receiving this very prestigious award. Bristol Warren Regional School District has made a concerted effort to provide healthy and nutritious lunches and snacks for our students, as well as ensure that all students are physically active, with the knowledge that these habits will promote improved academic performance and a foundation for lifetime wellness.”
The Challenge is a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation. Schools participating in the Challenge voluntarily adopt USDA standards for food they serve at their schools, agree to provide nutrition education and provide opportunities for physical activity. Challenge winners are recognized with Gold of Distinction, Gold, Silver, or Bronze-level certification. Challenge certification also includes monetary incentives for schools - $2,000 for Gold Award of Distinction, $1,500 for Gold, $1,000 for Silver and $500 for Bronze.
Through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act championed by the First Lady and signed by President Obama, USDA is making the first major changes in school meals in 15 years, which will help raise a healthier generation of children.
The new standards align school meals with the latest nutrition science and the real world circumstances of America’s schools. These responsible reforms do what’s right for children’s health in a way that’s achievable in schools across the Nation. Schools can use the HealthierUS School Challenge as a means of meeting the new reforms in school meal programs. Learn more at www.fns.usda.gov/tn/HealthierUS/index.html