Six SDIRC Schools Awarded Healthier US School Challenge Designation

Six SDIRC Schools Awarded Healthier US School Challenge Designation
Posted on 06/12/2018

DATE:  June 12, 2018

CONTACT:  
Cristen McMillan
Phone:  772-564-5527 

 

SDIRC Schools recognized for their efforts to provide healthy environments for students

Vero Beach, FL, June 12, 2018— Six School District of Indian River County schools (SDIRC) have earned HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) designations in May. The HealthierUS School Challenge, a joint effort with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the United States Department of Agriculture, is a voluntary certification initiative that recognizes and rewards schools that promote nutrition education, physical activity, and healthy school environments.

Schools can apply for four different levels of designation that last for four years: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction. Awarded schools will receive up to $2,000 to enhance the school food service program. Congratulations to the following SDIRC schools that were recently awarded HUSSC designation:

  • Dodgertown Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Fellsmere Elementary School (Bronze)
  • Glendale Elementary School (Silver)
  • Liberty Magnet School (Bronze)
  • Sebastian Elementary School (Silver)
  • Vero Beach Elementary School (Silver)

Patrick McCarty, Director of Food and Nutrition Services, stated, “The HeathierUS School Challenge is a collaborative effort between the School District of Indian River County, Food & Nutrition Services, and our schools. This initiative recognizes and rewards schools that promote nutrition education, physical activity, and healthy school environments. I am proud to be part of a school district that supports the goals and initiatives of the United States Department of Acculture. It certainly makes my job easier.”

Elizabeth Alfaro, SDIRC Registered Dietician, said, “This initiative is a great opportunity for us to evaluate our program, as well as recognize the schools for the great work they do.”

Jon Teske, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, added, “Our district has worked smarter, not harder, to ensure our cafeterias continue to serve the highest quality foods to our students and deliver excellent customer service to our guests. Working alongside our district’s Wellness Committee, we have received input from our stakeholders and implemented their suggestions. Improving our cafeterias is an ongoing process that involves everyone!” 

Todays MenuLunch Tray

Lunch TrayPower Heart

The application for the HealthierUS School Challenge contained a self-assessment scorecard to evaluate various school environments. Areas on the scorecard included focusing on fresh fruits, promoting vegetables and salads, creating school synergy, establishing a lunchroom atmosphere, and recognition and support of school food. Additional areas evaluated included physical activity, the wellness policy, whether food was used as a reward, and nutrition education. The scorecard is used as a tool to identify areas of opportunity for improvement. Submission materials required were the School Wellness Policy, recipes, food product ingredient statements, and photos documenting the cafeteria environment. Particular attention was paid to the components of the school meal, for instance, do meals contain the required components of fruit, grain, milk, veggie, and protein. The service line where students enter to receive their meal is also evaluated, as this can be a highly influential area.