What better way to celebrate National School Lunch Week than visiting winners of our USDA HealthierUS School Challenge! It was an honor to visit North Dakota and Texas schools that are going the extra mile to help children adopt healthier lifestyles. Our winners, the Phoenix, Brenham, and Krause elementary schools, respectively achieved Gold of Distinction and Gold status by providing students safe, nutritious, and healthy meals, in addition to plenty of on-site physical activity.
While we had a wonderful time presenting these awards, the children actually bestowed the best part of the celebration. Phoenix Elementary in Grand Forks kicked off with their original composition, “The Fruit and Vegetable Song”. In Texas, Brenham and Krause sang an Egyptian-themed homage to MyPyramid proceeded by a show-stopping exercise musical that included jump ropes, hula hoops, and basketball moves. In addition to USDA, the Texas Department of Agriculture Assistant Commissioner, Angela Olige, principals, school board members, school administrators, nutritionists, and cafeteria directors joined the fun.
In all, the USDA HealthierUS School Challenge recognizes schools that work hard to provide healthy school environments through good nutrition and physical activity, both critical tenets of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign. So far, our 841 Gold of Distinction, Gold, Silver, and Bronze award winners are making the difference. We applaud them, and look forward to greeting many more winners in the near future. And yes, next time, we won’t forget our sneakers!
Lisa Pino is the Deputy Administrator of SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a fan of asparagus and apples, and used to be a double-dutch pro on the playground.