District gets first place nutrition award
Milk – it does a body good and apparently, it does a district good, too.
The South-Western City School District has been selected as the first place winner of the 2009 Leadership in School Nutrition (LISN) Award. The National Dairy Council sponsors the award. The district will receive $5,000 to further nutritional efforts.
“This is the first time we won anything like this,” said Beth Glitt, the district’s food service supervisor. “It was a great surprise to me.”
The district won the LISN award for its innovations in milk programming, implementing more appealing plastic packaging, nationally known as the New Look of School Milk.
The National Dairy Council found that students consumed more milk after the organization replaced milk cartons with recyclable plastic bottles. Glitt decided it was worth a shot.
“The new bottles keep the milk colder,” said Glitt. “They are fun and they look nicer.”
Glitt believed that the effort would support the district’s wellness goals.
“By drinking milk, students get calcium, strong bones and protein,” she said. “If they are drinking milk, they are not drinking soda. Milk is a helpful use of calories.”
Glitt found out the district won the honors in early December. She explained that the local dairy council in Ohio nominated them. Glitt will travel to New Orleans on Jan. 18 to receive the $5,000 check.
Although the money is to be used to improve what goes into the student stomach, Glitt said right now she is not sure how the district will use the money. She noted that she spoke to the food service staff and would like to use the funds for professional development in the kitchen staff. Due to budget restraints, schools cannot always offer the most nutritious meals.
“Maybe now we can offer something different to our students,” Glitt remarked.
Since implementing the New Look of School Milk, the district has offered numerous milk flavors in the cafeteria lines. They have standard milk, chocolate, strawberry and even offer flavors such as orange cream, vanilla and birthday cake.
“It’s just a good beverage,” Glitt noted.
In addition to promoting a healthier generation, the district also collaborated with the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO), to create a greener generation. The partnership allows the district to recycle the eight-ounce plastic bottles throughout the district. In turn, SWACO donated “Drink It, Then Sink It” recycling bins for student use.
Last February, the district kicked off the New Look of School Milk program with a Town Toast at Park Street Intermediate School. Hundreds of students, along with school administrators and city leaders toasted the new effort with a cold glass of milk.
School Board President Cathy Johnson said, “We truly are helping to create a healthier generation and greener community through our combined efforts. The milk is packed with essential nutrients children need for stronger bones and healthier bodies.”
Since the implementation of the program, milk sales in the district have increased 6 percent. The daily participation in breakfast has increased 8 percent. It is estimated that 88 tons of plastic will have been be recycled at the end of this school year.
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