Release No. 0529.10
Jean Daniel (703) 305-2281
USDA Official Visits Texas to Highlight Efforts to Improve Child Nutrition During National School Lunch Week
Local Schools Receive National Recognition Award
LEWISVILLE, Texas, Oct. 15, 2010 – Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton celebrated National School Lunch Week at Central Elementary School in Lewisville, Texas, commending them for achieving gold-level honors in USDA's
HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC). Thornton highlighted Obama administration efforts to enhance school meals and the health of America's children.
"The HealthierUS School Challenge achievement demonstrates the deep commitment to create and maintain a healthy school environment by promoting good nutrition and physical activity," Thornton said. "This award recognizes Central Elementary as a national leader in efforts to advance school nutrition."
The HUSSC is a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama's
Let's Move! campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation. Schools participating in the HUSSC voluntarily adopt USDA standards for food they serve at their schools, agree to provide nutrition education and provide opportunities for physical activity.
In February, the First Lady and USDA challenged stakeholders to double the number of HUSSC schools within in a year and add 1,000 schools per year for two years after that. Schools participating in the Challenge are recognized with Gold of Distinction, Gold, Silver, or Bronze-level certification. As of late September, 841 HUSSC awards have been made to schools. HUSSC 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.
During her visit to the schools, Dr. Thornton highlighted the opportunities for improving the
National School Lunch and
School Breakfast Programs through the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.
"America's school-aged children depend on USDA school nutrition assistance and these programs deserve our full support," Thornton said. "By reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Act, we can make important changes to our school meal programs now and in the years ahead that will provide long term benefits for our kids and their ability to succeed in school and beyond."
First Lady Michelle Obama actively supports the HUSSC with innovative Let's Move initiatives, including Chefs Move to Schools, a collaboration that links chefs with nearby schools, and most recently with the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition, launched in early September. This competition brings together chefs, school nutrition professionals, students and parents who work in in teams to develop nutritious, delicious, kid-approved recipes for use in schools. Recipes must be submitted by Dec. 30. Winners will have a chance to compete in a national cook-off and $12,000 in prizes. For more information, please visit
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger. Visit
www.fns.usda.gov for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs.