MONTPELIER – Eight Burlington area schools received the Bronze award from the USDA's Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC). Champlain Elementary School, C.P. Smith Elementary School, Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler, John J. Flynn Elementary School, the Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes, Edmunds Elementary School, Edmunds Middle School, and Christ the King School join a select group of schools throughout America that are certified as HUSSC schools.
"Burlington's schools are the first in the Vermont to have achieved this prestigious award.” said USDA's Program Specialist Pamela Griffin.
Roasted root vegetables and quinoa salad have become the norm rather than the exception in Burlington’s school menus. The Burlington School Food Service program has demonstrated their commitment to improve the health and well-being of their students by serving nutritious, wholesome, and local foods. Laurie Colgan, Vermont Department of Education (VT DOE) Child Nutrition Director, believes that the Burlington schools have embraced the challenge to establish a healthier school environment for their students.
"They have incorporated fresh fruits and veggies, low fat milk, and lean meats in their menus in a way that looks and tastes good to their students,” said Colgan. “Additionally, school staff has promoted physical activity and nutrition education in the classroom as part of the schools' wellness policies." Burlington Food Service Director, Doug Davis, praised the staff of the Burlington School Food Project upon learning that the schools were awarded the USDA's HUSSC Bronze award.
“I am very excited that the Burlington School District has become the first in Vermont to receive this award. We have always received great support from our administration, faculty, staff, and community and this award is a reflection of all those partnerships and the hard work that goes along with it.” Davis said.
The HUSSC awards are a way for the USDA to recognize schools that have created healthier school environments through improvements in the quality of food while providing both nutrition and physical education to promote healthy lifestyles. HUSSC is a key component in Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign and is also helping schools to prepare for the school meal pattern changes developed by USDA for nation-wide implementation starting SY 2012-2013.
“I am excited that Burlington schools received this prestigious award. As a community, we have worked hard to ensure our students get healthy, local food, and learn to use these foods in recipes that can be carried out at home. I appreciate the support that the Burlington community provides to make this happen.” said Superintendent Jeanne Collins. The Burlington area schools join a select group of only 3 of schools throughout America that are certified as HUSSC schools.