Sodexo's Student Nutrition Expertise Helps 111 Schools Nationally Earn USDA Recognition

Oct. 19, 2011

Sodexo used its nutrition expertise to help 111 schools in eight different states over the last school year earn awards in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's HealthierUS School Challenge, a program designed to promote good nutrition and physical activity and the hallmark program for schools outlined in First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative to end childhood obesity.

Sodexo, a partner to more than 480 school districts across the country, works with schools to give students healthy options and teach them about the importance of making smart nutrition choices – a continuation of the company's long-term student well-being commitment.    

"Good food and physical activity give students a better chance of achieving at school and a life full of healthy habits," said Steve Dunmore, president of Sodexo Education – Schools in a prepared statement. "In support of First Lady Michele Obama's Let's Move initiative, Sodexo identified the HealthierUS School Challenge as one of the many things we can do to help combat childhood obesity and create a healthier future for all."

Sodexo helps client partners earn awards by both creating healthy school menus that meet program guidelines and providing additional educational resources. Sodexo also works with teachers and parents to reinforce nutrition lessons in the classroom and at home.

"Sodexo is the largest private employer of registered dietitians in America, so we understand how good nutrition and physical activity helps students succeed both in and out of school," said Roxanne Moore, MS, RD, national director of wellness, Sodexo Education - Schools. "When you combine our nutritional expertise with the healthy and delicious recipes our chefs develop specifically for schools, you get a complete school meal program dedicated to getting students excited about good nutrition."

On Oct. 17, Sodexo managers accompanied administrators and staff from partner school districts for a special recognition event on the South Lawn at the White House. The event, which was hosted by the First Lady, honored all schools that have earned prestigious HealthierUS School Challenge awards.

In addition to its work with the HealthierUS School Challenge, Sodexo is helping make all U.S. school children healthier by working with its food manufacturing partners to improve school meals. Sodexo chefs regularly meet with national manufacturers to reduce sugar, fat and sodium in school food, which benefits all students eating school meals, not just those at Sodexo-served schools.

Sodexo also convened a research and development summit in the spring of 2010 at the Culinary Institute of America in California's Napa Valley to talk about and test new flavor profiles that are healthier and would be enjoyed by kids. Schools chefs from across the country collaborated with chefs and representatives from 25 different food manufacturing companies, working together to create more than 90 healthy new recipes for Sodexo menus in the 2011-2012 school year.

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 and create enriched learning environments.

Sodexo helped the following districts and schools earn HealthierUS School Challenge awards:

  • Florida - Santa Rosa School District, Silver Award: Pea Ridge Elementary School.
  • Illinois - Namaste Charter School, Gold Award of Distinction, the program's highest honor; St. Charles Community Unit School District #303, Bronze Awards: Anderson Elementary School, Bell-Graham Elementary School, Corron Elementary School, Darvis Elementary School, Ferson Creek Elementary School, Fox Ridge Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, Munhall Elementary School, Norton Creek Elementary School, Richmond Elementary School, Wasco Elementary School and Wild Rose Elementary School.
  • Michigan - Birmingham Public Schools, Bronze Awards: Beverly Elementary School, Bingham Farms Elementary School, Greenfield Elementary School, Harlan Elementary School, Pembroke Elementary School, Pierce Elementary School, Quarton Elementary School and West Maple Elementary School; Troy Public Schools, Bronze Awards: Barnard Elementary School, Bemis Elementary School, Costello Elementary School, Hamilton Elementary School, Hill Elementary School, Leonard Elementary School, Martell Elementary School, Morse Elementary School, Schroeder Elementary School, Troy Union Elementary School, Wass Elementary School and Wattles Elementary School.
  • New Jersey - Boonton Public Schools, Bronze Awards: John Hill Public School and School Street School; Long Branch School District: Long Branch Middle School, New Jersey's only Gold Award of Distinction; Manchester Township Public Schools, Silver Awards: Manchester Township Elementary School, Ridgeway Elementary School and Whiting Elementary School. Old Bridge Township Public Schools, Bronze Awards: Carl Sandburg Middle School, Carpenter Elementary School, Cheesequake Elementary School, Cooper Elementary School, Grissom Elementary School, Madison Park Elementary School, McDivitt Elementary School, Memorial Elementary School, Miller Elementary School, Schirra Elementary School, Shepard Elementary School, Southwood Elementary School and Vorhees Elementary School.
  • Rhode Island - Pawtucket School Department, Bronze Awards: Baldwin Elementary School, Curtis Elementary School, Fallon Elementary School, Potter Burns Elementary School, Little Elementary School, Nathaniel Greene Elementary School, Varieur Elementary School and Winters Elementary School.
  • South Carolina - Beaufort County School District, Gold Awards: Joseph S. Shalkin Elementary School and Shell Point Elementary School; Beaufort County School District, Silver Awards: Mossy Oaks Elementary School and Port Royal Elementary School; Beaufort County School District, Bronze Awards: Battery Creek High School, Beaufort Elementary School, Beaufort Middle School, Beaufort High School, Bluffton Elementary School, Bluffton Middle School, Bluffton High School, Broad River Elementary School, Coosa Elementary School, H.E. McCraken Middle School, Hilton Head Island Elementary School, Hilton Head Island Middle School, Hilton Head Island High School, Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts, Lady's Island Elementary School, Lady's Island Middle School, Michael C. Riley Elementary School, Okatie Elementary School, Pritchardville Elementary School, Red Cedar Elementary School, Robert Smalls Middle School, St. Helena Elementary School, Whale Branch Elementary School, Whale Branch Middle School and Whale Branch High School; Spartanburg County School District 6, Bronze Awards: Anderson Hill Elementary School, Arcadia Elementary School, Fairforest Elementary School, Jesse S. Bobo Elementary School, Lone Oak Elementary School, Roebuck Elementary School and Woodland Elementary School.
  • Texas - Georgetown Independent School District, Gold Awards: Annie Purl Elementary School, Carver Elementary School, Cooper Elementary School, Frost Elementary School, McCoy Elementary School, Mitchell Elementary School, Pickett Elementary School and Williams Elementary School; Georgetown Independent School District, Silver Award: Village Elementary School; Georgetown Independent School District, Bronze Award: Jo Ann Ford Elementary School.
  • Washington - Camas School District, Bronze Awards: Dorothy Fox Elementary School, Grass Valley Elementary School, Helen Baller Elementary School, Lacamas Heights Elementary School and Prune Hill Elementary School.