The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary certification initiative established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), to recognize schools that are creating healthier school environments through their promotion of nutritious meals, physical activity, and nutrition education.
First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Campaign incorporates the HUSSC by acknowledging schools that are actively working to reduce the childhood obesity epidemic. Four levels of superior performance are awarded and the USDA is offering monetary incentives with each level: Bronze ($500), Silver ($1,000), Gold ($1,500), and Gold Award of Distinction ($2,000).
State Agency Contacts for the HUSSC
For questions or to submit a HUSSC application, please contact Elizabeth Moreno, Nutrition Education Consultant, by phone at 916-324-9749 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Desiree Rojo, Child Nutrition Consultant, by phone at 916-323-0213 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
How it Works
To receive a HUSSC: SL award a school or school district must:
- Be a Team Nutrition (TN) school–to enroll as a TN school, please visit the USDA Team Nutrition Web page
- Participate in both the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP)
- Serve reimbursable meals that meet the USDA nutrition standards. Additionally, the school food authority must be six-cent certified
- Implement the smarter lunchrooms techniques in six areas (fruits, vegetables, entrees, milk, sales of reimbursable meals, and school synergies) as defined in the Smarter Lunchrooms Self-Assessment Scorecard (For more information, please visit the CDE Smarter Lunchrooms Movement Web page.)
- Meet the Smart Snacks in Schools Nutrition Standards as defined in the Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in Schools
- Adopt and support a Local School Wellness Policy (LSWP) as mandated by Section 204 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296
- Meet or exceed HUSSC:SL criteria established for:
- Average Daily Participation (ADP) in the NSLP and the SBP (No required ADP for Bronze award level)
- Nutrition education
- Physical education and opportunities for physical activity
- Other Criteria of Excellence from which schools can select
Take the Challenge
We encourage all California schools to create healthier school environments and to apply for a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Gold Award of Distinction.
To qualify for an award, a school must submit an application to the California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division and meet or exceed criteria set forth by the FNS.
Refer to the USDA Application Criteria and Guidance (PDF) for detailed HUSSC:SL criteria listed by category.
Visit the USDA HUSSC: Application Materials Web page to download the Application (PDF) for Bronze, Silver, Gold and Gold Award of Distinction and the Smarter Lunchrooms Self-Assessment Scorecard (PDF) to include with the application.
Please note: multiple schools in the same district may apply under one district application when all of the following apply:
- The same nutrition education, physical education, and physical activities are provided or offered (according to the grade level)
- The same competitive foods and beverages are sold throughout the cafeteria and/or school campus
- Each school is enrolled as a TN school
- Each school follows the same district’s LSWP
You can submit your completed application by mail to:
Attention: HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms Team
Nutrition Services Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4503
Sacramento, CA 95814
You may also submit your completed application by e-mail to: HUSSC@cde.ca.gov.
Award-winning schools are recognized with a cash award, a framed certificate, an award banner from USDA to showcase their achievement, and an optional local media event! HUSSC schools also receive national recognition by being listed on the TN Web site. Awards are certified for four years from the USDA’s date of approval. If a school has received a lower level award, the school only needs to wait one year to reapply for a higher award.
California HUSSC Awardees
A current listing of California schools that are HUSSC certified is available on the USDA HUSSC, California Award Winners Web page.
None scheduled at this time.
Training Registration Instructions
Training registration for school nutrition program sponsors is available at the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) Training Registration Web page. Please review the instructions below before starting the registration process.
School Nutrition Program Sponsors Instructions
- Obtain your sponsor five-digit CNIPS User ID number or personal CNIPS User ID and password to use for registration.
- Visit the CDE CNIPS Training Registration Web page and begin the online registration process.
- Enter your sponsor five-digit CNIPS User ID or personal User ID and password.
- Select Register for Training or select View Available Training if your agency is currently not an approved sponsor.
- Select All on the Program Training Available page.
- Select desired course on the Available Training(s) Screen.
- Select preferred time and location on the Available Training Locations page.
- Enter the attendees contact information on the Attendee Information page.
- Print the Training Confirmation before exiting the system (last screen in the online registration process). This is your only record.
Registration Assistance and Cancellation Procedure
If you need assistance with online registration, please contact the CNIPS Help Desk weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by phone at 800-952-5609, Option 6, or by e-mail at CNIPS@cde.ca.gov.
If you are unable to attend, please contact the CNIPS Help Desk by phone at 800-952-5609, Option 6, or by e-mail at CNIPS@cde.ca.gov to cancel your registration. Please provide your registration confirmation number, if possible, when cancelling your registration.
The USDA is offering the following Webinars on components of the HUSSC: SL initiative:
Please visit the HUSSC Training and Technical Assistance Web page for additional resources.