|Two La Porte ISD nutrition services representatives have been invited to The White House on July 29 in recognition of the district’s participation in the HealthierUS School Challenge Program.
Nutrition services director Yvonne Bennett and assistant director Jill Gonzales will travel to Washington, D.C., for the reception hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama on the South Lawn.
“It is an honor for our department to be recognized by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, for our commitment to serving healthy, nutritious school meals and for achieving the Silver Award in the HealthierUS School Challenge,” Gonzales said.
LPISD is one of only 23 districts in Texas and approximately 200 across the nation that have been recognized for achieving this level of distinction in nutrition services.
LPISD’s Jennie Reid Elementary School received the prestigious HealthierUS School Challenge Silver Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (UDA) during a ceremony at the campus on April 21. Sheldon Gordon, nutritionist with the USDA in Dallas, presented a plaque to the school in recognition of this achievement and medals to members of the district and campus nutrition services staff.
Bennett explained that USDA recognized the school’s efforts to earn the Silver Award by meeting stricter nutrition and menu guidelines, offering physical education a minimum of 45 minutes weekly and incorporating nutrition education in the curriculum. Specifically, the Jennie Reid staff increased t he number of servings of whole grain items, added more orange and dark green vegetables and offered at least one cup of beans and peas weekly.
In addition, Jennie Reid exceeded the physical education requirement by offering physical education 30 minutes every day and demonstrated its use of the Healthy and Wise program to teach nutrition education in the classroom.
In addition to a congratulatory letter from Michelle Obama, the district was presented with a $1,000 award by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
The goal of the HealthierUS School Challenge is to improve the health of the nation’s children by promoting healthier school environments. To help meet the goal, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) identifies schools that have made changes to improve the quality of the foods services, provide students with nutrition education and provide students with physical education and opportunities for physical activity.
More information on the HealthierUS School Challenge and a complete list of winners are available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/healthierus/awardwinners.html