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For Immediate Release: Oct. 24, 2008
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Huron schools receive national recognition for nutrition excellence

Four Huron elementary schools – Buchanan, Jefferson, Madison and Washington – are the first schools in South Dakota to win the HealthierUS School Challenge. Administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, the program recognizes elementary schools that are taking steps to improve their meal programs, in an effort to reduce childhood obesity.

“We are thrilled that the Huron School District has been recognized for its work to get students to eat healthier,” said Amy Richards, a registered dietitian with the South Dakota Department of Education’s Office of Child and Adult Nutrition Services. “It’s a challenge to get kids to eat legumes and to incorporate at least 51 percent whole grain flour into bakery products. But Huron is proof that it can be done!”

USDA established the HealthierUS School Challenge in 2004. To win the award, schools must meet the following minimum criteria:

• Be an elementary school

• Be enrolled as a Team Nutrition School

• Offer reimbursable meals that demonstrate healthy menu planning

• Provide nutrition education to students

• Provide students with an opportunity for physical activity

• Adhere to guidelines established by USDA for foods served and sold in schools outside the National School Lunch Program

The Huron School District will officially be honored by officials from USDA and the South Dakota Department of Education in a visit later this school year. Huron will receive a banner and a plaque for each of the four winning schools.

“The Huron Public School District is extremely proud to be the first school in South Dakota to win the HealthierUS Challenge,” said Superintendent Ross Opsal. “On behalf of the board, administration, staff, students, and community, I would like to thank Carol Tompkins and her staff for taking the time and effort to make Huron a healthier place to live.” Tompkins is Huron’s school nutrition director.


For more information about the HealthierUS School Challenge: