Monday, April 9, 2012

USDA recognizes two KCK schools for Outstanding Nutrition Environments

Two Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools District elementary schools have earned the prestigious Bronze Award from USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services for meeting USDA’s Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC) school meal criteria.

They are: Frank Rushton Elementary School and Banneker Elementary School.

HUSSC awards are part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative and are given to schools that take specific steps to improve their programs and address childhood obesity.

Schools must apply for the honor and are selected based on a rigorous set of criteria related to nutrition and physical activity. The Bronze Award includes a monetary prize of $500.

Frank Rushton will receive their award at a celebration set for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 10. Banneker will receive their award at a celebration set for 9:05 a.m. on Friday, April 13.

Registered Dietitians (RD) from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation worked with students and staff at both schools with the Energy Balance 4 Kids program, and provided nutrition education and guidance in modifying school wellness policies and the district’s lunch menu in order to apply for the HUSSC award.

The HUSSC is a voluntary initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.

In February 2010, the First Lady introduced Let’s Move!, incorporating the HUSSC into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids. At that time, monetary incentive awards became available for each HUSSC award level: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction.

Among the criteria that Frank Rushton and Banneker had to meet in order to earn the award were:
  • provide nutrition education to students
  • provide students the opportunity for physical activity
  • maintain an Average Daily Participation of school enrollment for reimbursable lunches of at least 60 percent for Silver awards
  •  adhere to guidelines established by FNS for foods served/sold in schools outside the National School Lunch Program
“Our mission is to inspire excellence through the service of quality, healthy and satisfying meals served to the students of KCK Schools,” said Karla Floyd, Nutritional Services director. “With the support of the administrators, teachers, cafeteria manager and staff, physical education specialists, counselors, and all other team players, the hope is that the students will learn to make healthy choices while exhibiting consistent physical activity balancing a healthy lifestyle.”

This achievement is significant because obesity is a growing concern for school children in the United States.

Recognizing that schools have more influence on the lives of young people than any other institution, USDA encourages all schools to take a leadership role in helping students learn to make healthy eating and active lifestyle choices that will last a lifetime.

For more on the HealthierUS Schools Challenge, please visit