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Alabama Gets the Gold of Distinction!

I was thrilled to stand in the Civic Center in Pelham, Ala., on October 29th to celebrate the State of Alabama’s great accomplishment of 52 Alabama Public Schools meeting USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge.  Alabama has received 39, more than half of HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Awards of Distinction that have been awarded in the nation.  Two schools received HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Awards, seven silver and four bronze.

The schools are part of 18 school districts that are making a difference in the health and well-being of their children.  Alabama is one of the states in the country with the highest rate of obesity, and events like this encourage me that we are beginning to turn the problem around.

USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge helps accomplish these objectives by recognizing schools that create and maintain healthy school environments by promoting good nutrition and physical activity.  It’s a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation.

I am so impressed that these Alabama schools are making a difference, and together we are changing things for the better. We need a healthier generation because these children are our nation’s future.

USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton thanks Food Service Staff at Valley Intermediate School, one of Shelby County Schools’ Gold Award of Distinction winners

USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton thanks Food Service Staff at Valley Intermediate School, one of Shelby County Schools’ Gold Award of Distinction winners

USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton congratulates Shelby County School District Superintendent Randy Fuller

USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton congratulates Shelby County School District Superintendent Randy Fuller

Chilton County’s Gold Award winning Jemison Elementary School Food Service Staff sing a HealthierUS School Challenge jingle to Janey Thornton, USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Deputy Under Secretary (3rd from left), and Dr. Joseph B. Morton, Alabama State Superintendent of Education (2nd from left) while others look on at Alabama’s celebration event that recognized 52 of their schools for meeting the challenge on Oct. 29, 2010.

Chilton County’s Gold Award winning Jemison Elementary School Food Service Staff sing a HealthierUS School Challenge jingle to Janey Thornton, USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Deputy Under Secretary (3rd from left), and Dr. Joseph B. Morton, Alabama State Superintendent of Education (2nd from left) while others look on at Alabama’s celebration event that recognized 52 of their schools for meeting the challenge on Oct. 29, 2010.

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