USDA Recognizes Washington D.C. Middle School's HealthierUS School Challenge Achievement
Release No.
0562.10
Contact
Jean Daniel (703) 305-2281

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2010 – Audrey Rowe, Deputy Administrator of USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, today presented Kelly-Miller Middle School with silver-level honors in USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge - the first silver award achieved by a school in the District of Columbia. Kelly-Miller is the first middle school in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area to receive a HealthierUS School Award.

"Your HealthierUS School Challenge achievement demonstrates your deep commitment to create and maintain a healthy school environment by promoting good nutrition and physical activity," Rowe said. "This achievement recognizes Kelly-Miller as a national leader in efforts to advance school nutrition."

While at the school, the Deputy Administrator had lunch with students and toured the site of the Kelly-Miller's proposed garden. Fresh apples from local orchards were featured during Rowe's visit as part of the school's enhanced menu with more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.. Washington Redskins wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, representing Fuel Up to Play 60, joined the celebration. Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League (NFL), with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that empowers and encourages youth to eat nutrient-rich foods (low fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and to achieve 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

The HealthierUS School Challenge is a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation. Schools participating in the challenge voluntarily adopt USDA standards for food they serve, agree to provide nutrition education, and to provide their students with opportunities for physical activity.

In February, the First Lady and USDA challenged stakeholders to double the number of HUSSC schools within in a year and add 1,000 schools per year for two years after that. Schools participating in the Challenge are recognized with Gold of Distinction, Gold, Silver, or Bronze-level certification. As of October 20th, 881 HealthierUS School Challenge awards have been made to schools.

The First Lady actively supports the HUSSC with innovative Let's Move initiatives, including Chefs Move to Schools, a collaboration that links chefs with nearby schools, and most recently with the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition, launched in early September. The competition brings together chefs, school nutrition professionals, students and parents who work in teams to develop nutritious, kid-approved recipes for use in schools. Recipes must be submitted by Dec. 30. Winners will have a chance to compete in a national cook-off and $12,000 in prizes. 

Improving USDA's child nutrition programs for nearly 32 million kids across the nation is a top priority of the Obama Administration. Strengthening the Child Nutrition Act, which authorizes USDA's child nutrition programs including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign. This legislation will serve as a down payment in battling hunger and food insecurity while providing critical resources to raise a generation of healthy children. 

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger. 

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About NFL PLAY 60
Designed to help tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations like the National Dairy Council. NFL PLAY 60 is also implemented locally, as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. ©2010 NFL Properties LLC. Team names/logos/indicia are trademarks of the teams indicated. All other NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.

About National Dairy Council
National Dairy Council® (NDC) is the nutrition research, education and communications arm of Dairy Management Inc™. Established in 1915, NDC is dedicated to educating the public on the health benefits of consuming milk and milk products throughout a person's lifespan.