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Healthy Meals Incentives Recognition Awards for School Food Authorities

Published: 210 days ago
" As part of a cooperative agreement to develop and implement USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative, Action for Healthy Kids is offering Recognition Awards to celebrate SFAs that have made significant improvements to the nutritional quality of their school meals. The Recognition Awards will spotlight innovative practices, student and community engagement activities, and strategies schools have used to provide meals that are consistent with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
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As part of a cooperative agreement to develop and implement USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative, Action for Healthy Kids is offering Recognition Awards to celebrate school food authorities (SFAs) that have made significant improvements to the nutritional quality of their school meals. The Recognition Awards will spotlight innovative practices, student and community engagement activities, and strategies schools have used to provide meals that are consistent with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The Recognition Awards application portal and helpful resources to complete the application are available at https://healthymealsincentives.org/recognition-awards/. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through June 30, 2025. Applicants will be notified of their results within two months of submission by email and the application status will also be posted on the portal.
There are a total of eight Recognition Awards:
  1. Breakfast Trailblazer Award
  2. Small and/or Rural SFA Breakfast Trailblazer Award
  3. Lunch Trailblazer Award
  4. Small and/or Rural SFA Lunch Trailblazer Award
  5. Innovative School Lunch Makeover Award
  6. Innovation in the Cultural Diversity of School Meals Award
  7. Innovation in the Preparation of School Meals Award
  8. Innovation in Nutrition Education Award
To see the full list of criteria for each award, visit https://healthymealsincentives.org/recognition-awards/.

Eligibility Criteria: SFAs must participate in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program in the contiguous United States, Hawaii, Alaska, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the United States Virgin Islands. Only SFAs are eligible to apply for the Recognition Awards. Before completing an application, SFAs must obtain TDA confirmation that the SFA does not have any outstanding corrective actions and that any previous findings have been resolved. A fillable PDF form for this purpose is available for SFAs to download at https://healthymealsincentives.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Recognition-Award-State-Agency-Letter-fillable.pdf.
TDA does not need to review SFA applications prior to submission. SFAs may apply for any of the awards at any point during the application period, but may only receive each award once.

Benefits: SFAs meeting Recognition Award criteria will receive national and local recognition, as well as an awardee toolkit that includes digital assets, and travel stipends to attend a national Healthy Meals Summit. FNS and Action for Healthy Kids will highlight and share diverse best practices nationwide from Recognition Awardees through traditional and social media, stakeholder engagement, training and technical assistance activities, and Healthy Meals Summits.

Informational Webinar: On September 21, 2023, from 3 – 4 p.m. EST, AFHK will host an informational webinar about the Recognition Awards. This webinar will provide an overview of the Recognition Awards including information about eligibility, the application process, technical assistance available, and more. Register for the webinar at: https://actionforhealthykids.jotform.com/231774608182056 Questions about this announcement may be sent to awards@healthymealsincentives.org.

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To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

1. Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
2. Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
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