USDA Awards Mt. Lebanon Schools with HealthierUS School Challenge
September 7, 2012
Today at Jefferson Elementary School, Dr. Janey Thornton, the USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services will recognize our Food Service Department and present all seven elementary with the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) bronze award. This award is to highlight the Mt. Lebanon School District efforts to provide healthy items on our school lunch menus and provide students with physical education and opportunities for physical activity.
The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. It supports First Lady Michelle Obamaís Letís Move campaign by recognizing schools that are creating healthier school environments through their promotion of good nutrition and physical activity. Sponsored by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the initiative encourages all schools take a leadership role in helping students to make healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last a lifetime.
Our Food Service Department led by Tazeen Chowdhury, worked hard to make changes to our school nutrition environment in order to improve the quality of the foods served and provide students with nutrition education, as well as District efforts to provide students with physical education and opportunities for physical activity. As part of this award, each school will be given a $500.
To qualify for an award, a school must submit a formal application and meet basic criteria set forth by the FNS. The HUSSC criteria reflect the recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published recommendations (April 2007) for foods that should be served in schools, outside of the organized school lunch meals. HealthierUS Schools must also have a local school wellness policy, as mandated by Congress. Schools receiving a HUSSC award commit to meeting the criteria throughout their four year certification period.
Congratulations to Tazeen, Judy Wolfe, Dave Misterka and all of our cafeteria workers for their efforts.