HCPSS Expands Healthy Meals Program to All Elementary Schools
Posted: August 31st, 2017
The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) today announced the expansion of the Let’s Rethink Lunch healthy meals program to all elementary schools for the 2017-2018 school year. The program provides access to a wider range of high quality, healthy and delicious options for school meals, including a fresh fruit and salad bar. Dozens of new offerings have been added to the school lunch menus at all levels.
“The school lunch is the healthiest and most substantial meal of their day for many Howard County students, and appealing options in the cafeteria can have a big impact on their learning,” says Interim Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. “The Let’s Rethink Lunch expansion is perfectly aligned to my vision for an equitable, nurturing educational program that promotes every student’s health and wellness.”
Let’s Rethink Lunch was piloted at three elementary schools—Bollman Bridge, Laurel Woods and Talbott Springs—in April 2016 as part of a partnership with the Horizon Foundation to promote the link between nutrition, education, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.
HCPSS has made all school lunches healthier in recent years by eliminating foods that are fried or high in sugar. Instead, school menus emphasize baked foods, fresh juices and locally sourced items, with 60 percent of food coming from local vendors. Every school meal contains lean protein, fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk and meets rigorous standards for calories, percentage of calories from fat, amount of salt and nutritional content.
All Howard County schools were recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for achieving honors in the HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms. HCPSS is only district in Maryland to receive the award for all of its schools.