The 2012 criteria for the HealthierUS School Challenge reflect changes to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) meal pattern requirements as stated in 7 CFR Parts 210 and 220, while continuing to recognize schools that go above and beyond Federal requirements for school meals.
All new applications submitted to a State agency on or after July 1, 2012, will be considered using the 2012 HealthierUS School Challenge criteria. Schools will continue to be recognized at four award levels: Gold Award of Distinction, Gold, Silver or Bronze level. Major changes to the criteria include:
Breakfast CriteriaUnder the 2012 criteria, schools must participate in the SBP and, for upper award levels, meet Average Daily Participation (ADP) criteria for breakfast. Schools must also meet criteria relating to fruits and/or vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat and fat-free milk at breakfast. The addition of these criteria recognizes the importance of a nutritious breakfast to children’s health and academic performance. Today, almost 90% of schools that participate in the NSLP also participate in the SBP.
“Other Criteria for Excellence” CategorySchools may meet criteria in this category by selecting from 20 options relating to program outreach, physical activity, nutrition education, and school and community involvement in wellness efforts. The number of options a school must accomplish varies by award level, ranging from two at the Bronze level to eight at the Gold Award of Distinction level.
The 2012 HUSSC criteria are updated to reflect NSLP meal pattern requirements, while continuing to encourage schools to offer a variety of vegetables, fresh fruit and whole grain-rich grains.
ADP Calculation Method
The ADP criteria for NSLP and SBP is based on attendance rather than enrollment.
The 2012 HUSSC criteria also include modifications to nutrition education requirements for elementary and middle schools and updates Local Wellness Policy criteria to be consistent with the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296. Schools will continue to receive monetary incentives for meeting required criteria.
FNS plans to release a revised HUSSC application form, technical assistance materials and training tools in Spring/Summer 2012.