OLD BRIDGE – United States Department of Agriculture and New Jersey Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition officials presented 11 of the 12 elementary schools in the Old Bridge School District with the HealthierUS School Challenge Award on Wednesday.
All schools in the district have attained the Bronze Level of the award, which earned the district $500 per school. Southwood Elementary School was presented with its prize in January.
“We applaud the Old Bridge Township School District for placing a high priority on the importance of good nutrition and exercise to ensure students are equipped to do their best in school,” said Rose Tricario, New Jersey Department of Agriculture Division of Food and Nutrition director. “New Jersey’s stringent nutrition standards put all schools in the state on track to earn this award, which recognizes schools that promote good nutrition and physical activity. Even so, we encourage schools to even more to reach higher levels of the award.”
The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. Sponsored by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the initiative encourages all schools to take a leadership role in helping students to make healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last a lifetime.
“As winners of the HealthierUS School Challenge Bronze Awards, these schools are among the very best, going above and beyond the minimum requirements to help their students lead full and active lives,” said Barbara Martin, Deputy Director of Special Nutrition Programs, United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, Mid Atlantic Region. “It’s a reflection of the priority that schoolchildren are in Old Bridge.”
The elementary schools that received the award are: M. Scott Carpenter, Cheesequake, Leroy Gordon Cooper, Virgil I. Grissom, Madison Park, James McDivitt, Memorial, William A. Miller, Walter M. Schirra, Alan B. Shepard, Raymond E. Voorhees.
Donna Kibbler, Old Bridge schools’ director of elementary education, said the district is 100 percent committed to combating the cause of childhood obesity and fostering proper nutrition among the students. She said they’re proud of the healthy options the students have to choose from when they come to the cafeteria.
“We want to make sure each child can receive a nutritious meal when they come to school,” said Kibbler. “We have been working hard to ensure each child is receiving nutrition education and has access to nutritious foods such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and beans.”
Donna Kibbler, director of elementary education for Old Bridge schools, speaks to the assembled school representatives and state officials during the HealthierUS School Challenge Award ceremony on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of NJ Dept. of Agriculture)
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