August 31, 2012—The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity. Schools participating in the challenge adopt U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards for the food that they serve and provide nutrition education and opportunities for physical activity.
In February 2010, the First Lady and USDA challenged stakeholders to double the number of HUSSC schools within a year and then add 1,000 schools per year for the following two years. As of August 20, 2012, nearly 4,100 schools were certified as HUSSC schools, which exceeds this goal.
Earlier this year, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service announced new HUSSC criteria to reflect the recent changes to the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program meal pattern requirements. The program will continue to recognize schools that go above and beyond federal requirements for school meals. The implementation of these new criteria will coincide with the implementation of the new meal pattern. All new applications submitted on or after July 1, 2012, will be considered using the new criteria. Schools will continue to be recognized at four award levels: Gold Award of Distinction, Gold, Silver or Bronze level.
To learn more about the HealthierUS School Challenge, visit www.fns.usda.gov/tn/healthierus/index.html .
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