Twenty Metro Nashville Public Schools have received USDA’s Healthier US Schools Challenge Awards (HUSSC). The Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary certification 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.
“This is a great recognition of all the work we have been doing in the schools and with the community to offer students appealing, healthy meals,” said Fred Carr, Metro Schools’ Chief Operating Officer, who oversees the district’s Nutrition Services Department.
The schools and awards are:
Metro Schools’ Nutrition Services department has made significant changes to incorporate healthier food choices for all students and is part of Alignment Nashville’s Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Committee working to not only provide nutritious food options, but also to provide appealing choices to students. To date:
- Amqui Elementary School (Bronze)
- Bellshire Elementary School (Bronze)
- Caldwell Enhanced Option (Bronze)
- Croft Middle School (Bronze)
- Cumberland Elementary School (Bronze)
- East Middle School (Bronze)
- Glengarry Elementary School (Bronze)
- Glenn Enhanced Option (Bronze)
- Hattie Cotton Elementary School (Bronze)
- Haynes Middle School (Bronze)
- Head Middle Magnet (Bronze)
- Hickman Elementary School (Bronze)
- J.T. Moore Middle School (Bronze)
- Jones Paideia Magnet (Bronze)
- LEAD Academy Upper (Bronze)
- Lockeland Elementary (Bronze)
- Neely’s Bend Elementary School (Bronze)
- Oliver Middle School (Bronze)
- Robert E. Lillard Design Center (Bronze)
- Shayne Elementary School (Bronze)
- Thomas Edison Elementary School (Bronze)
- Warner Enhanced Option (Bronze)
This year, school lunches will meet additional standards requiring:
- The district continues to explore ways to reduce processed food items. Metro Schools has been ahead of the curve in providing healthy food choices as the budget allows.
- Several school cafés offer salad bars; all offer a vegetarian choice daily.
- Metro Schools’ nutrition staff works with local farmers to increase the amount of locally grown fruits and vegetables.
In February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced Let’s Move!, incorporating the Healthier US School Challenge into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids. At that time, monetary awards became available for each HUSSC award level: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction. To date, HUSSC awards have been given to 3,717 schools in 48 states. The Bronze award includes $500 for each school’s meal program.
- Age-appropriate calorie limits
- Larger servings of vegetables and fruits
- A wider variety of vegetables, including dark green and red/orange vegetables and legumes
- Fat-free or 1% milk (flavored milk must be fat-free)
- More whole grains
- Less sodium