MONTPELIER – New England Kurn Hattin Homes for Children joined an elite group of nationally certified HeathierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) schools. These schools are committed to promoting healthy lifestyle choices and creating a wholesome school environment.
Sponsored by USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), HUSSC is a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. It supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign by recognizing schools that are creating healthier school environments by promoting nutrition and physical activity.
“It is a wonderful accomplishment for the food service department, the students, the school, and the state of Vermont,” said USDA’s School Nutrition Program Specialist Kyle Bogaert.
Kurn Hattin was founded in 1894. Since its founding, Kurn Hattin has served in-need and at-risk children, ages 6-15, from throughout the Northeast. Over 100 boys and girls live and attend school on a 280-acre campus which includes a working farm.
“We're very proud to receive this award. It was a campus-wide accomplishment,” said Richard Johnson, Director of Food Services at Kurn Hattin. “Less than 6 of all the schools in the country received the HUSSC award and that puts us in a special class at the top. Next year, however; we're going for the gold!"
Kurn Hattin developed a wellness program and revamped their menu to incorporate more whole grains, leaner proteins, and less sodium, fat, and sugar. Students were involved in the planning, creation, and taste-testing of the menu. Throughout this process, students gained an appreciation for making healthy choices and were open to trying new and healthier food choices.
“We were fortunate to have Joanne Jolly as an intern. She was a great asset in the grant application process,” said Johnson. Kurn Hattin partners with Keene State College’s Dietetic Internship; interns focus on providing wellness education and health promotion in the community.
HUSSC announced 473 award winners from Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. Since the beginning of the HealthierUS School Challenge in 2004, awards have been given to schools in 49 States and the District of Columbia, there are 6,515 schools certified. The names of the schools are posted on the HUSSC awardees list on the USDA’s website: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/HealthierUS/awardwinners.html.
Currently, eleven Vermont schools have been recognized as HUSSC award winners:
• Brewster Pierce Memorial School (Gold Award of Distinction) awarded August 2012
• Bristol Elementary School (Bronze) awarded August 2012
• Champlain Elementary School (Bronze) awarded May 2012
• Christ the King School (Bronze) awarded May 2012
• C.P. Smith Elementary School (Bronze) awarded May 2012
• Edmunds Elementary School (Bronze) awarded May 2012
• Enosburg Elementary School (Bronze) awarded January 2013
• Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler (Bronze) awarded May 2012
• John J. Flynn Elementary School (Bronze) awarded May 2012
• New England Kurn Hattin Homes for Children (Bronze) awarded May 2013
• Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes (Bronze) awarded May 2012
For more information about Vermont’s School Nutrition Programs, contact Laurie Colgan, Child Nutrition Director, at 802-828-5153 or Brooke Gannon, Child Nutrition Consultant, at 802-828-5152, or visit http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/pgm_nutrition.html.
Media Contact: Angela Ross, 802-828-3154