Secondary menu


Application Criteria and Guidance

Last Published: 03/09/2015

The 2014 criteria for HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms reflect Smart Snacks in Schools Nutrition Standards as stated in 7 CFR Parts 210 and 220, while continuing to recognize schools that go above and beyond Federal requirements within the entire school nutrition environment. Implementation of the new criteria will occur on August 31, 2014. All new applications submitted to the State agency on or after August 31, 2014, will be considered using 2014 HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms 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:

  • New Smarter Lunchrooms Criteria. Under the 2014 criteria, all schools must complete the Smarter Lunchrooms Self-Assessment Scorecard. The number of techniques from the scorecard that the school must implement is dependent upon the award level.

-- Bronze applicants must select at least 30 action items.

-- Gold Award of Distinction applicants must select 70 action items.

-- Silver/Gold applicants must select 50 action items.

  • New Smart Snacks Criteria. All award levels must meet Smart Snacks in School Nutrition Standards as defined in 7 CFR Parts 201 and 220. In addition, each award level has additional Smart Snacks Criteria that focus on training, advertising/marketing, and fundraising.
  • Updated Other Criteria for Excellence. The 2014 HUSSC criteria are updated to reflect and promote new initiatives and regulations. Options now include Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), healthy cooking technique classes for students/families, Professional Standards, and the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.

The 2014 HUSSC criteria will no longer require any specific meal criteria, but schools must meet current meal pattern requirements and the School Food Authority (SFA) must be certified for 6 cents. The criteria also include modifications to nutrition education requirements for all schools. FNS is making no changes to the HUSSC criteria for Physical Education or Physical Activity at this time. Schools will continue to receive monetary incentives for meeting required criteria as described in the April 1, 2010, HealthierUS School Challenge-Monetary Incentives memo (TA 04-2010). FNS plans to release a revised HUSSC application form, technical assistance materials, and training tools soon.