Sodexo worked with Manchester Township School District in Manchester, N.J. to help three elementary schools earn Silver-level certification in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's HealthierUS School Challenge, a program designed to promote good nutrition and physical activity.
Sodexo, a partner with Manchester Township for nearly 30 years, contributed to the certification effort by giving students healthy options and teaching them about the importance of making smart nutrition choices - a continuation of the company's long term student well-being work in the district.
"Sodexo's team of student nutrition professionals has done an outstanding job in serving the Manchester Township School District," said Dave Trethaway, superintendent, Manchester Township School District in a prepared statement. "Students need good nutrition to succeed in school and Sodexo delivers healthy and nutritious food that students love to eat."
Sodexo made changes to the district's menu in order to meet the HealthierUS School Challenge program guidelines, including the use of more legumes along with more dark green and dark orange vegetables. Sodexo also now only offers one percent and skim milk at the award-winning schools. To help get students to buy-in to these changes, a very important part of the process, the company's team in the district allowed students to sample food to get their feedback and approval.
Sodexo's certification support is part of the company's ongoing commitment to student well-being in the district. Sodexo has a full-time registered dietitian on staff and team members meet regularly with the district's wellness committee. Additionally, Sodexo has offered whole grains for more than three years and has been offering at least six fresh fruit and vegetable side dishes daily for more than five years.
"HealthierUS School Challenge certification is a tremendous accomplishment and we are proud that we helped Manchester Township School District earn the first three Silver awards given out in New Jersey," said Steve Dunmore, president of Sodexo Education - Schools. "Sodexo is serious about supporting our partner school districts like Manchester Township in creating an environment of well-being to advance student achievement."
Sodexo is committed to take measurable sustainable actions that ensure a brighter future in the areas of health and wellness, environmental stewardship and community development. Sodexo focuses on nutrition, achievement, environment, community and activity to promote student well-being.