French and Hunt Elementary awarded gold rating by USDA

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   Cuero Independent School District and ARAMARK Education, the district’s food service provider, are pleased to announce that John C. French Elementary School and Hunt Elementary School have both been awarded a Gold level designation by the United States Department of Agriculture for the HealthierUS School Challenge, a major component of The First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to reduce childhood obesity and make the nation’s schools models for healthier living.
   To recognize this honor, USDA’s Brandon Knox will visit Cuero ISD on Thursday, April 18 to present the official award. The event, which will take place at the Cuero Independent School District Board Room on 960 East Broadway at 5 p.m.
   Created in 2004, the HUSSC recognizes those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. Participating schools can earn any one of the four levels of superior achievement: 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 are listed on the Team Nutrition website.
   To be recognized as a Gold level award winner, a certain criteria of standards must be met, including:
   •Being enrolled as a Team Nutrition School, which provides a framework for team efforts by school nutrition staff, teachers, parents, the media and other community members to focus on nutritious school meals
   •Reimbursable lunches meet the USDA nutrition standards
   •Average Daily Participation for lunch meets or exceeds a minimum of 70 percent
   •School lunch menu allows students to select a different vegetable and fruit everyday, 100 percent fruit juice, a whole-grain food serving, only low-fat (1 percent or less) and fat-free (skim) milk
   •Nutrition education programs
   •Physical education/activity classes and messages
   The Gold Standard menus further elevate the district’s and ARAMARK’s focus on nutrition and wellness, which includes promoting and expanding the availability of breakfast; offering healthy, nutrient-dense snacks; eliminating added trans fats; reducing the use of processed foods, added fats, sugar and salt; sourcing high quality, local produce and products; and advancing employee knowledge of nutrition and health principles.
   “We are committed to serving nutritious meals and this commitment is at the heart of how we deliver on our promise of helping students flourish,” said Sandra Hernandez, Cuero ISD Food Service Director. “We encourage students to embrace good eating and healthy lifestyle habits at an early age, and we understand school’s food and nutrition program plays a big role in this effort.”
   For morning information about the USDA HealthierUS School Challenge, visit www.fns.usda.gov.
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