Sodexo Helps Three Schools Earn USDA Recognition for Outstanding Nutrition Environment
October 29, 2009
Student Well-Being Program Supports Silver and Gold Certification for Florida and Rhode Island Schools
GAITHERSBURG, Md., October 29, 2009 — Sodexo, a leading student nutrition services provider, created specially-designed menus, well-being programs and promotions, encouraged participation in physical activities and supported nutrition education initiatives to help three separate schools from public school districts in Florida and Rhode Island earn certification through the USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge. The HealthierUS School Challenge is an elite and comprehensive program to recognize healthy school environments that promote good nutrition and physical activity.
Sodexo, and its student nutrition program at all three schools, partnered with both the Santa Rosa County School District in Milton, Fla. and the Pawtucket School Department in Pawtucket, R.I., to help three schools earn certification. W.H. Rhodes Elementary School in Florida earned Silver level certification status, while both M. Virginia Cunningham Elementary School and Curvin McCabe Elementary School in Rhode Island earned Gold level certification.
“Sodexo is committed to doing everything we can to support the student well-being efforts of the districts we serve,” said Lorna Donatone, president of Sodexo School Services. “Certification through the HealthierUS School Challenge is a tremendous accomplishment for our partner districts and we are proud to play a role in helping them achieve their goals. The best part about our work with this program is that the students are the people who benefit in the end.”
Sodexo’s contributions to the certification process in the three schools went beyond healthy menu planning and traditional foodservice work. At the Pawtucket School Department, Sodexo created the Caught You Eating Healthy program to encourage students to make healthy choices by rewarding them when they are “caught” on camera with healthy items on their trays.
At the Santa Rosa County School District, Sodexo coordinated grade-level specific nutrition education courses with health and science teachers and encouraged student participation in physical activities like the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope For Heart program.
Sodexo’s expertise in student well-being combined with its considerable resources as a student nutrition provider to over 470 school districts across the country make it an ideal partner for districts looking to gain certification through this program.
“Sodexo is traditionally known for our breakfast and lunch programs in schools, but we actually have a much larger presence in the districts we serve, including nutrition education — knowledge and skills that students will take with them beyond their school years,” said Roxanne Moore, registered dietitian and Sodexo’s national wellness director. “We are focused on the overall well-being of the students we serve and that goes way beyond the food they get in the cafeteria. We really want to give students the tools they need to live a long and healthy life.”
The elementary schools in Florida and Rhode Island join Ponderosa Elementary School from Billings Public Schools in Billings, Mont., a school that achieved Gold level certification in 2008, as the four schools Sodexo has assisted in earning the honor.
Sodexo is committed to take measurable sustainable actions that ensure a brighter future in the areas of health and wellness, environmental stewardship and community development. Sodexo School Services focuses on nutrition, achievements, environment, community and activity to promote student well-being.
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com) is a leading integrated facilities management services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with $7.7 billion (USD) in annual revenue and 120,000 employees. Sodexo serves more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long term care and retirement centers, schools, college campuses, government, and remote sites. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., is a member of Sodexo Group, and funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $11 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.