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Healthier School Days for Students in West Virginia

A young student at Piedmont Year-round Elementary School in Charleston, West Virginia gets ready to enjoy a nutritious breakfast.

A young student at Piedmont Year-round Elementary School in Charleston, West Virginia gets ready to enjoy a nutritious breakfast.

Recently, I joined students and staff there for breakfast and was delighted to see the youngsters start their day with a delicious parfait along with cereal, juice, milk, fresh-baked muffins and sliced oranges. While balancing the tall plastic containers of fruit and granola parfait proved just a bit challenging for a few of the younger kids carrying breakfast trays to their tables at Piedmont Year-round Elementary School in Charleston, West Virginia, the meal itself was exactly the type of healthy, well-balanced meal envisioned with the recent improvements to school meal standards issued by USDA.

Dr. Jorea Marple, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, joined me for breakfast at Piedmont Elementary.  Dr. Marple and I discussed the fact that West Virginia was an early adopter of many of the new requirements of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.  Since 1994, West Virginia has made health and wellness in schools a key part of the state’s goals and priorities. West Virginia knows that school meals matter.  Children who eat a well-balanced breakfast and lunch perform better in the classroom and have lower rates of absenteeism and tardiness.

FNS Administrator Audrey Rowe chats with West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jorea Marple  at a Back To School Breakfast Event at Piedmont Year-round Elementary School in Charleston, West Virginia August 7.

FNS Administrator Audrey Rowe chats with West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jorea Marple at a Back To School Breakfast Event at Piedmont Year-round Elementary School in Charleston, West Virginia August 7.

I am proud to call West Virginia my home state and even more proud that schools here have been working for years to offer healthier options for breakfast and lunch.   At USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, we used current nutrition science to set the new standards for school meals. Now, we are working with schools to help them meet our requirements via training and technical assistance.  Those schools that meet the standards will receive an additional 6 cents reimbursement per meal—the first real increase in 30 years.

To learn more about what USDA is doing to make the school day healthier, please visit our Healthier School Day web site.

3 Responses to “Healthier School Days for Students in West Virginia”

  1. Brad Sang says:

    To Whom it May Concern:
    Over the past several years I have watched the education system in the state of West Virginia DECLINE. Now, with the help of the Obama Administration, the nutritional guide lines of school breakfast, lunch and snack are under attack. Plan and simple, you can not make children healthier by starving them and this is exactly what is happening. Not only are you starving the children, you are also transfering cost to the middle class families that now pack lunches due to the lack of sustenance being provided. Congratulations on not only “dumbing” us down, but also making us physically weak enough to be completely taken over.
    Sincerely,
    Brad Sang

  2. Jodi says:

    I am curious – is all that plastic being recycled or thrown in the garbage?? Maybe instead of serving milk in plastic bottles we need need to get glasses out and have them fill a glass that can be washed! Do the parfait’s need to be individually wrapped or can’t they be served from a large bowl. We want our children to be healthy, but there are many lifestayle changes that need to be made just not restricting what they are eating at school. Also, how much of this food is being prepared at the schools. Or is it being shipped in prepackaged? I am not trying to insult the school cooks, but very little is prepared from scratch at schools anymore.

  3. Chris says:

    Hey USDA, Michelle Obama, your new lunch menu STINKS! All 3 of my children come home in the afternoon starving. Back to the brown bags!

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