Release No. 0594.10
FNS Office of Communications (703)305-2281
USDA Deputy Secretary Presents Gold Award to Alexandria Elementary School for Achieving the HealthierUS School Challenge
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 8, 2010 – Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan presented the HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Award to Cora Kelly School in Alexandria, Va today and commended them for their excellence in school nutrition. Cora Kelly Elementary School is a dynamic multicultural elementary school serving as a magnet school for programs in math, science and technology. Merrigan was joined by Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, City Councilman Rob Krupicka, and Alexandria School Board and PTA members. In Virginia, the week of November 8 is designated as Farm to School Week, and the event will also highlight the contribution that Farm to School makes to school nutrition.
"The HealthierUS School Challenge achievement demonstrates the deep commitment to create and maintain a healthy school environment by promoting good nutrition and physical activity," Merrigan said. "This event helps highlight the importance of the HealthierUS School Challenge and some of the ways that children and communities can become involved."
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 October, 901 HUSSC awards have been given to schools in 38 States and the District of Columbia. 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 event, Merrigan highlighted the opportunities for improving the
National School Lunch and
School Breakfast Programs through the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.
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 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
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 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 (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.