Liberty and Wilson Elementary Schools are making national news by working to support and improve the health of our children and our community. As part of their effort, healthy items are featured on their menus and physical education and physical activity are emphasized. Their efforts are part of the HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchroom award.
The HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchroom award (HUSSC) is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. It recognizes schools that are creating healthier school environments through their promotion of good nutrition and physical activity. Sponsored by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the initiative encourages all schools to take a leadership role in helping students to make healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last a lifetime. Schools, such as Liberty Elementary and Wilson Elementary Schools in Ottumwa CSD that champion the HUSSC work hard to make changes to their school nutrition environment in order to (1) improve the quality of the foods served, (2) provide students with nutrition education, and (3) provide students with physical education and opportunities for physical activity.
Ultimately, FNS would like to see all schools receive a HUSSC award at any one of the four levels of superior performance: Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Gold Award of Distinction. Schools awarded receive a monetary incentive (Bronze $500, Silver $1000, Gold $1500, and Gold Award of Distinction $2000), an award plaque signed by a USDA official, a banner to display in their school, and their name listed on the Team Nutrition Web site.
To qualify for an award, a school must submit a formal application and meet basic criteria set forth by the FNS. HealthierUS Schools must also have a local school wellness policy, as mandated by Congress. Schools receiving a HUSSC award commit to meeting the criteria throughout their four year certification period.
Liberty Elementary and Wilson Elementary Schools qualified for the Silver award level.