Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Recognizing SFAs' Achievements: Healthy Meals Incentives & Best Practices


Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) has introduced the Healthy Meals Incentives Recognition Awards to acknowledge school food authorities (SFA) that have made notable enhancements to the nutritional value of their school meals, as part of a cooperative agreement to implement the USDA Food and Nutrition Service's Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative.
The Healthy Meals Incentives Recognition Awards aim to highlight the creative approaches, engagement activities involving students and the community, and strategies employed by SFAs to offer meals that align with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. SFAs can submit applications for various Recognition Awards categories, including:
  • Breakfast Trailblazer
  • Small and/or Rural SFA Breakfast Trailblazer
  • Lunch Trailblazer
  • Small and/or Rural SFA Lunch Trailblazer
  • Innovative School Lunch Makeover
  • Innovation in the Cultural Diversity of School Meals
  • Innovation in the Preparation of School Meals
  • Innovation in Nutrition Education

To apply for the Recognition Awards, SFAs can click here.

SFAs located in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the United States Virgin Islands, and participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program, are eligible to apply. The applications will be evaluated on a continuous basis throughout the two-year application period, concluding on June 30, 2025.
“Action for Healthy Kids is excited to partner with USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service to showcase innovative school nutrition practices that provide children with access to nutritional school meals,” said Rob Bisceglie, CEO of AFHK. “School meals are a powerful tool to help kids get the nutrition they need. We are committed to working with the USDA and school nutrition professionals to ensure that school meals continue to provide the very best for our nation’s children.”
SFAs that meet the criteria for the Recognition Awards will receive both national and local recognition, along with a toolkit for awardees that includes digital resources and travel stipends for attending a national Healthy Meals Summit. Furthermore, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and Action for Healthy Kids will actively promote and share diverse best practices from Recognition Awardees across the nation through traditional and social media platforms, stakeholder engagement, training, technical assistance activities, and Healthy Meals Summits.
Cindy Long, the administrator of the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, emphasized the importance of supporting school nutrition professionals in providing delicious and nutritious meals, seeing it as a significant opportunity to enhance child health in America. With USDA school meal programs reaching approximately 30 million children every school day, spanning various communities and backgrounds nationwide, the Recognition Awards will showcase the remarkable accomplishments schools have made in offering nutritious meals that students genuinely enjoy. Long also expressed that the awards program aims to inspire the sharing of best practices, enabling other schools to replicate their success in meal quality.
The Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative by the USDA is a part of the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, established by the Biden-Harris Administration. This comprehensive strategy outlines the federal government's roadmap for addressing hunger, reducing diet-related diseases, and eliminating disparities by 2030.