POINT PLEASANT — Efforts to improve school lunches in Mason County haven’t gone unnoticed.
At the most recent meeting of the Mason County Board of Education, principals and cooks from Mason County Schools were presented the Healthier US School Challenge Bronze Award.
Chief School Business Official/Treasurer Gary Hendricks spoke on this award, saying Mason County Schools were part of 5,900 public schools to receive this award out of around 100,000 who receive USDA funding. Also recognized was Cristi Rulen, food service supervisor for Mason County Schools.
According to the USDA, the Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC) is geared towards improving children’s health across the nation by promoting healthier school environments by improving the quality of the food served and providing the students with nutrition information as well as physical education and opportunities for physical activity.
It was noted that schools receiving a HUSSC award will commit to meeting the criteria throughout their four-year certification period. Hendricks said at the meeting Mason County Schools will receive a review from the state in May to ensure they are still meeting the criteria.
Through this program, Mason County Schools has been offering more meals emphasizing fruits vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts, and foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars.
For more on this program, visit www.fns.usda.gov/hussc.
Also at Thursday’s meeting, Hendricks spoke on the USDA Community Eligibility Option, a program board members previously approved which allowed eight out of ten Mason County Schools offer free lunch to all students. Hendricks noted this program has been very positive for Mason County Schools and that there will be a small surplus from federal revenue for this program for next school year. Hendricks said this will allow more fresh foods to be purchased, as well as help provide funding for other needed kitchen equipment.
More on other items from this meeting will appear in a later edition of the Point Pleasant Register.