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HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms

Information about and instructions how to apply for a HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms award.

Overview

The HealthierUS School Challenge Smarter Lunchrooms (HUSSC: SL) 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.

The former First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Campaign incorporates the HUSSC: SL 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).

Contact Us

For questions or to submit a HUSSC: SL application, please contact Desiree Rojo, Child Nutrition Consultant, by phone at 916-323-0213 or by e-mail at drojo@cde.ca.gov or Jennifer Kuo, Nutrition Education Assistant, by phone at 916-322-9943 or by e-mail at jkuo@cde.ca.gov.

Follow @CDENutrition on Twitter.

How it Works

To receive a HUSSC: SL award a school or school district must:

  1. Be a Team Nutrition (TN) school­–to enroll as a TN school, please visit the USDA Team Nutrition External link opens in new window or tab. Web page
  2. Participate in both the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP)
  3. Serve reimbursable meals that meet the USDA nutrition standards. Additionally, the school food authority must be six-cent certified
  4. 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 External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) (For more information, please visit the CDE Smarter Lunchrooms Movement Web page.)
  5. Meet the Competitive Foods and Beverage Nutrition Standards as defined on the CDE’s Competitive Foods and Beverages Web page.
  6. 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
  7. 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 award.

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 External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) for detailed HUSSC: SL criteria listed by category.

Visit the USDA HUSSC Application Materials External link opens in new window or tab. Web page to download the Application External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) for Bronze, Silver, Gold and Gold Award of Distinction and the Smarter Lunchrooms Self-Assessment Scorecard External link opens in new window or tab. (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 Team Nutrition school

  • Each school follows the same district’s local school wellness policy

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.

Recognition

HUSSC: SL award-winning schools receive national recognition on the USDA Web site, monetary incentives, honorary plaques, award banners, and an optional HUSSC: SL local media event to showcase their achievement! Awards are certified for four years from the USDA’s official announcement date. If a school has received a lower level award, the school only needs to wait one year from the certified announcement date to resubmit an application for a higher award.

HUSSC National Recognition

A current listing of California schools that are HUSSC certified is available on the USDA HUSSC California Award Winners External link opens in new window or tab. Web page.

HUSSC: SL Monetary Incentive

Once the HUSSC: SL awards are officially announced and posted on the USDA HUSSC California Award Winners Web page, the award winning schools are entitled to a monetary incentive dispersed by the USDA Headquarters (USDA HQ) office. You must follow the steps outlined below to receive the electronically transferred award monies through the school district nonprofit food service account.

Steps to receive the HUSSC: SL monetary incentive:

1. Complete the Monetary Incentive Form (MIF) (PDF) for the school district.

2. Create or update the federal Systems for Awards Management (SAM) account for the school district. For more information regarding the SAM account, please visit the SAM Web site External link opens in new window or tab. or call the SAM help desk at 866-606-8220.

3. E-mail the completed MIF to the USDA HQ representative Darrick Butler, Program Analyst, by e-mail at darrick.butler@fns.usda.gov and TN-HUSSC@fns.usda.gov.

Schools will continue to receive monetary incentives for meeting the required criteria as stated in the April 2, 2010, HUSSC–Monetary Incentives TA Memo (TA 04-2010) External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

Note: If you have any questions or inquiries regarding the processing of the monetary incentive, contact the USDA HQ representative Darrick Butler, Program Analyst, by e-mail at darrick.butler@fns.usda.gov and TN-HUSSC@fns.usda.gov.

HUSSC: SL Plaque and Banner

Once the HUSSC: SL awards are officially announced, the award winning schools are entitled to receive a plaque and banner for each winning school mailed directly from the USDA Western Region Office (WRO). You must send an e-mail request to the USDA WRO verifying your contact person and mailing address, then the plaque and banner will be mailed directly to your school or school district. Please contact the USDA WRO representative Lissa Ong, Nutritionist, by phone at 415-705-1351 or by e-mail at lissa.ong@fns.usda.gov for the plaque and banner.

HUSSC: SL Media Event

The HUSSC: SL Media Event Planning Application (DOC) that includes the application, instructions, and contact information to plan a HUSSC: SL media event. This is an optional event.

Local Trainings

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 External link opens in new window or tab. 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 External link opens in new window or tab. 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.

Webinars

The USDA is offering the following Webinars on components of the HUSSC: SL initiative:

Monetary Incentives – What You Need To Know External link opens in new window or tab.

HUSSC Success Stories: Celebrating Let’s Move! External link opens in new window or tab.

HUSSC: SL and Smart Snacks External link opens in new window or tab.

HUSSC: SL 2014 Criteria and Application for State Agencies and Schools External link opens in new window or tab.

Please visit the HUSSC Training and Technical Assistance External link opens in new window or tab. Web page for additional resources.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 3, 2017
Related Content
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    Information on competitive foods and beverages including definitions, background, compliance, resources, policy guidance, and frequently asked questions for sponsors participating in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program.
  • Local School Wellness Policy
    Information regarding the 2016 Local School Wellness Policy (LSWP) requirements, background, compliance, training, resources, and policy guidance, for Local Educational Agencies (LEA).
  • Smarter Lunchrooms Movement
    Includes information about the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement (SLM) in California, local training and Webinar schedules, and best practice resource links.
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