A ceremony on Friday morning officially recognized the as a recipient of a federal award for school nutrition.
The school was awarded a United States Department of Agriculture HealthierUS School Challenge Silver Award for having a nutritious school lunch program and focus on exercise. John Magnarelli, the USDA regional director, presented the award at the RMMS morning assembly.
Magnarelli said the award recognizes schools that “go above and beyond our requirements” by providing a wide food variety and nutritious foods such as fresh fruit and whole grains.
Magnarelli encouraged students to keep up a healthy lifestyle. As an illustration, he compared a shoe offered by a student with his own son’s massive basketball shoe; his son, Magnarelli said, had grown up on healthy school lunches.
The assembly also included a dance and energizing exercise, as well as a brief speech by Mayor Daryl Finizio.
“The city of New London is so proud of each and every one of you for winning this award,” said Finizio.
The HealthierUS School Challenge is a voluntary national certification initiative offered to schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. It is also incorporated into First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity.
According to the Connecticut State Department of Education, schools are eligible for a Silver Award if they are enrolled as a Team Nutrition School, meet the guidelines of the Food and Nutrition Service and USDA, and offer reimbursable lunches, and implementing a local wellness policy. Silver Award schools must also maintain an average daily participation of reimbursable lunches of at least 60 percent of school enrollment for elementary school and 45 percent for middle school. The award comes with a $1,000 prize.
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