The Cherokee County School District again has earned national honors for its School Nutrition summer meals program!
The school district every summer participates in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Seamless Summer Option, which offers free meals to children in need during the summer. The outstanding quality of CCSD’s program earned the USDA’s Silver Turnip the Beet Award for the second consecutive year. CCSD School Nutrition is one of only 98 school districts nationwide to earn the honor.
“Congratulations to every member of our School Nutrition team – it takes a big group of dedicated food service professionals to achieve the level of success that earns national accolades,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “They ensure our students have access to a healthy breakfast and lunch each day during the school year -- and over summer break, an additional workload that they take on with great pride and joy. We’re proud of them for this honor and grateful for the important work they do every day for our kids.”
Dr. Hightower also praised Tina Farmer, executive director for CCSD School Nutrition, and her leadership team of Toni Hedges, Trang Pham, Mark Johnson and Jessica Emmett for their efforts to continuously improve meals and service.
To earn the award, which CCSD School Nutrition now has earned four times since the national program’s establishment, school districts must demonstrate the highest standards in meal preparation and delivery. Meals must be “appetizing, appealing, and nutritious,” meet national dietary guidelines, and include “local foods, a variety of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, and low-fat and fat-free milk.”
Almost one-third of CCSD students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, and the summer meals program ensures they continue to have access to nutritious breakfasts and lunches throughout the school break. The program is funded by USDA grants and community donations.