April 20, 2018
Seven Wakulla County public schools were awarded for their efforts to make healthier environments for their students and staffs alike.
At the April 16 School Board Meeting, Mr. Parks, a representative from the United States Department of Agriculture’s “HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC)” program, awarded Bronze status and $500 each to the lunchrooms of Crawfordville Elementary, Medart Elementary, Riversink Elementary, Shadeville Elementary, Riversprings Middle, Wakulla Middle, and Wakulla High School.
The HUSSC is a voluntary certification initiative recognizing schools that demonstrate a commitment to advocate healthier school environments through the promotion of nutrition and physical activity.
All seven of Wakulla’s schools serving grades K-12 surpassed minimum meal service requirements, and excelled in nutrition education, physical education and other areas of wellness and food service management.
Tanya English, Wakulla’s Executive Director of Exceptional Student Education and Student Services, and Food Service Director Donna Pease collaborated on the award application. English is responsible for the school district’s Wellness Program, and Pease has charge of the cafeterias.
Says Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “Our school meals were already compliant with the strict nutrition standards set by federal regulations, but we try to go a step further to offer more variety and quality by our new (as of 2016) partnership with Sodexo Food Services.”
Many others were involved, as the HUSSC application process requires collaboration between members of the Food Service Department, administration, teachers, students, and wellness coaches within each school.
The goal is to reinforce the importance of physical activity, physical education, good nutrition, and the presence of nutrition education in schools.
In addition to the money and award, schools were given a banner and plaque for display from the United States Department of Agriculture as well as recognition on the Federal Team Nutrition website.
Schools will also receive a certificate and banner from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Their successes are highlighted in a press release from Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
HUSSC was adopted under the U.S. “Let’s Move” initiative in 2010.