Bowling Green Elementary is making national news by working to support and improve the health of our children and our community.
As part of their effort, healthy items are featured on their menus and physical education and physical activity emphasized. Their efforts are part of the HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms.
The HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms (HUSSC:SL) is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. It supports the “Let’s 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 to take a leadership role in helping students make healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last a lifetime.
Schools, such as Bowling Green Elementary, in partnership with their nutrition provider, Opaa! Food Management, that champion the HUSSC: SL, work hard to make changes to their school nutrition environment in order to (1) maintain high quality for the foods served on campus, (2) provide students with nutrition education, and (3) provide students with physical education and opportunities for physical activity.
To qualify for an award, a school must submit a formal application and meet basic criteria set forth by the FNS.
The HUSSC: SL criteria reflect the requirements of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, regulation adopted in 2012 for all foods sold on school campus. Opaa! Menus are designed to meet the requirements of HUSSC: SL and provided the nutrition support needed to apply for the awards. HealthierUS Schools must also have a local school wellness policy, as mandated by Congress. Schools receiving a HUSSC: SL award commit to meeting the criteria throughout their four year certification period.
The Bowling Green Elementary qualified for the Bronze Award . HUSSC: SL awards are available at four levels of superior performance and monetary awards are as follows:
• Bronze – $500.00 award per building
• Silver – $1,000.00 award per building
• Gold – $1,500.00 award per building
• Gold Award of Distinction – $2,000 award per building
Schools awarded receive the monetary incentive along with a plaque signed by a USDA official, a banner to display in their school, and their name listed on the Team Nutrition National Data Base for HealthierUS School Challenge: SL awarded schools.
The HUSSC application process was a cooperative effort of school administrators, parents, and Opaa! Food Management personnel.