Islandia, NY (PRWEB) April 20, 2013
The USDA established the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) to recognize schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that create healthier school environments by providing nutrition education, nutritious food and beverage choices, physical education and opportunities for physical activity. This initiative is a main component in First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, an effort to end the childhood obesity epidemic.
This April, eight Hamden elementary schools were awarded the HUSSC Bronze Level distinction: Bear Path School, Church Street School, Dunbar Hill School, Helen Street School, Ridge Hill School, Shepherd Glen School, Spring Glen School and West Woods School.
This recognition is the product of a joint effort between Hamden Public Schools and Whitsons School Nutrition, food service providers at Hamden Public Schools. Karen Gersbeck, Assistant District Manager and Jeanne Cooper, Director of Athletics, were the main drivers of this initiative along with a review team composed of a cross section of the Hamden school community: members of the Parent-Teacher Association, teachers, principal and administrators.
In order to qualify for the Bronze award, the elementary schools had to demonstrate the school meets all the HUSSC nutritional requirements on an on-going basis, serving a variety of healthier food that appeal to the students, planning meals that emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; and that include lean proteins and foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. Furthermore, the school was required to prove its compliance with the physical activity criteria of the HUSSC according to age group.
With this award, Hamden Public Schools reiterates its commitment to promoting a healthy school environment for its students. According to Fran Rabinowitz, Superintendent of Hamden Public Schools, “We are very pleased to be receiving this award. Whitsons and the school system have worked very hard to ensure that all of our students have healthy choices for breakfast and lunch each and every day. Whitsons has been a wonderful partner in making this happen and I am especially grateful to Jeanne Cooper and Karen Gersbeck.”
The award ceremony will take place on April 26th. A representative from the USDA will present a HealthierUS Bronze School banner, a commemorative plaque and a check for $500 to the schools.
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Whitsons Culinary Group provides a wide range of highly customized dining services to public schools, corporations and institutions, with a strong focus on nutritious, high quality menus made from fresh, wholesome ingredients. Whitsons has a long and proud history of excellence and growth since 1979 and currently ranks the 18th largest dining company in the United States (Food Management magazine, September 2012). Whitsons’ scope of expertise and services extends to: emergency dining, residential and healthcare dining, prepared meals, and school dining and services.