Release No. 0506.10
Office of Communications (202) 720-4623
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Presents Nutrition Excellence Award to Chicago Area School
CHICAGO, Oct. 5, 2010 - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today presented the HealthierUS School Challenge Gold of Distinction Award to the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC). The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is the first school in both Chicago and the Midwest to receive the Gold of Distinction Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of its HealthierUS School Challenge.
"Improving the nutrition and health of our nation's children so they have a greater opportunity to succeed and reach their highest potential is a key priority for the Obama Administration," said Deputy Secretary Merrigan. "The HealthierUS School Challenge encourages schools to take extra steps toward improving the nutrition of all foods offered in schools which will in turn provide students with the education to make healthy lifestyle decisions."
The USDA believes schools should take a leadership role in helping students learn to make healthy eating and physical activity choices. In February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced Let's Move! campaign and incorporated the USDA
HealthierUS School Challenge (www.fns.usda.gov/tn/HealthierUS/index.html) to raise a healthier generation of kids. Together, the initiatives encourage schools throughout the nation to make changes to their school nutrition environment, provide opportunities for physical activity and nutrition education, and serve students more nutritious, healthier choices.
The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is a new Chicago Public Charter School, founded in 2008, with an ardent commitment to environmental sustainability and child nutrition. It is internationally recognized for its model green school and wellness initiatives. AGC's holistic approach incorporates daily yoga, environmental education, wellness instruction, and organic gardening into the school day.
Along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Chicago-based, Healthy Schools Campaign, Chicago Public Schools has launched the Go for the Gold Campaign, a city-wide initiative to ensure that all students have access to healthy food, quality nutrition education and physical activity.
Improving USDA's child nutrition programs on behalf of 32 million kids across the nation is a top priority of the Obama Administration. Strengthening the Child Nutrition Act, which authorizes USDA's child nutrition programs, including WIC and the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign. This legislation will serve as a down payment in battling hunger and food insecurity while providing critical resources to raise a generation of healthy children. To learn more about the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign, visit
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs, which touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. More information about FNS and its nutrition assistance programs is available at