Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Turnip the Beet Award for CHCCS!

N.C. Summer Nutrition Program Sponsors Receive

First-Ever Turnip the Beet Awards

Buncombe County Schools, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Rockingham County Schools and the YMCA of Western North Carolina are among the first summer nutrition program sponsors nationwide to receive the Turnip the Beet awards. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sponsors the award to recognize outstanding summer nutrition program sponsors that work hard to offer high quality meals that are appetizing, appealing and nutritious.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction School Nutrition Services Section Chief Lynn Harvey said that the state’s summer nutrition program sponsors work hard to ensure that North Carolina public school children don’t go hungry when school is not in session. “It’s exciting to see four of our program sponsors’ efforts recognized by the US Department of Agriculture with the Turnip the Beet award. We know they work hard to provide meals that are nutritious and appealing to children, and to ensure that those who need these meals the most are aware of their availability,” she said.

Buncombe County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools received a Gold Turnip the Beet award. The YMCA of Western North Carolina received a Silver Turnip the Beet award, and a Bronze Turnip the Beet award was given to Rockingham County Schools.

The goal of Turnip the Beet award is to showcase sponsors who go above and beyond to ensure their meals are both nutritious and appetizing. States volunteered to participate in the recognition program, and all sponsors participating in the one of programs were eligible to apply. Applications were evaluated on a list of criteria, including serving local foods, variety of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, low fat or fat free dairy products, and culturally-appropriate meals. Recognized sponsors demonstrated excellence in a variety of ways including providing fresh fruit daily, serving a variety of whole grains, conducting taste tests with the children (and incorporating the feedback into the menus), and offering nutrition education activities along with the meals.

For 2016, 49 sponsors from across the country earned Bronze, Silver or Gold Turnip the Beet awards. All awardees will receive a certificate and will be featured in USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Summer newsletter. Gold and Silver awardees will be highlighted in a USDA blog post, and Gold awardees will be identified as Turnip the Beet winners on the FNS Capacity Builder website.

Summer meals are critical in the lives of millions of our nation’s youth, whose risk of food insecurity increases during the summer months when they no longer have access to the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. North Carolina Summer Nutrition Programs serve meals at no cost to children and teens, ages 18 and younger, at almost 3,000 locations across the state. North Carolina Summer Nutrition Programs work with sponsors, local education agencies and community partners to help feed hungry children by serving meals to students when school is out.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction School Nutrition Services administers the state’s Summer Nutrition Programs using federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Citizens and organizations interested in more information about getting involved as a site provider or volunteering at a summer meals site should contact NCDPI Summer Nutrition Programs Manager Cynthia Ervin.