Chartwells School Dining Services, a company that brings fresh ideas and innovative concepts to school dining, is proud to announce that, as of November 2011, a total of 127 schools that they serve have received awards for the HealthierUS Schools Challenge (HUSSC). In celebration of these exemplary schools, Chartwells managers and their partner schools participated in an HUSSC celebration at the White House, hosted by the First Lady, on Oct. 17, 2011.
The HUSSC is sponsored by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which supports First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign by recognizing schools that help create healthier environments through their promotion of good nutrition and physical activity. Chartwells partners with over 550 public school districts and private schools, in over 6,000 separate elementary, middle and high schools nationwide, to provide customized solutions serve our partner schools through innovative programs that benefit the academic community.
"It was truly an honor to be invited to the White House and be a part of this very worthwhile initiative," said Dr. Russell Booker, superintendent of Spartanburg District Seven Schools in South Carolina in a prepared statement. "The First Lady is committed to doing her part to ensure our children's well being is given top priority and I left even more convinced and committed to this cause."
"Spartanburg School District Five was proud to have been honored by First Lady Obama at the White House," said Scott Turner Ed. D., superintendent, District Five Schools of Spartanburg County. "The HealthierUS Schools Challenge has given us a standard in food quality to measure our success in providing nutritious meals for our students daily."
"Chartwells provided the nutritional and culinary expertise that continually enhances the nutritional value of the meals we serve to our students which is how we played a key role in achieving the HUSSC Bronze award for the schools we serve," said Peggy Luther, FMP, district manager for Chartwells' South region.
All across the country, Chartwells works to support and improve the health of children and our communities. Healthy items are featured on award-winning school menus. Physical education and activity are highly emphasized. Chartwells associates champion the HUSSC work by helping their schools improve the quality of the foods served, provide students with nutrition education, and provide students with physical education and opportunities for physical activity, with its diverse team of dedicated dietitians, chefs, food and nutrition specialists.
In the Amarillo School District, Texas, the school menus already incorporated the guidelines that are part of the HUSSC campaign. "We currently use whole wheat on the majority of our menus, at a minimum of 6 times per week," said Vernell Dunn, Chartwells senior director of dining services for the Amarillo Central School District (CSD) in Texas. "We offer a 1/2 cup of a different green vegetable everyday as well as orange or yellow vegetables a minimum of three times per week, along with three types of fruit daily. And all of our juices are made with 100% juice."
At Stamford Public Schools in Connecticut, nutrition education was the main focus to obtain their HUSSC awards. "Even though the USDA HealthierUS has a simplified application form for larger districts which require only one application to be submitted for all schools, I chose to have each school submit an application," said Patricia Shoemaker, Chartwells resident dietitian for Stamford and Wilton school districts. "This required several meetings with the principals, physical education teachers and parent/teacher representatives as a way to communicate to each school about Chartwells and the HealthierUS and get everyone on board."
At East Bay Area Schools in Rhode Island, Chartwells has been instrumental in getting the Wellness policies updated with language that incorporates the HUSSC criteria for school environments beyond the cafeteria. "Our associates are all active members on all of the district's Wellness committees within the East Bay area," said Nancy Roberts LDN,SNS, Chartwells nutritionist for East Bay Schools.
"Chartwells provided the leadership we needed to earn these awards in this initiative," said Scott Mercer, superintendent, Spartanburg District Two Schools. "We appreciate their assistance as we strive to improve the lives and learning of our students."