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 Six Local Schools Get Nutrition Grants

Six San Diego County elementary schools will receive grants from the California Department of Education to make changes in their cafeterias this school year to encourage students to pick nutritious foods, it was announced today.

Kelly and Hope elementary schools in Carlsbad, Paul Ecke and Ocean Knoll elementary schools in Encinitas, and Smythe and Vista del Mar elementary schools in San Ysidro will each get $6,800 from the Team Nutrition Smarter Lunchrooms Movement of California Program.

The program is designed to help schools makeover their lunchrooms and food menus by providing funds for a variety of strategic changes, including creating visually interesting signs, adding innovative descriptions of menu items, and placing fruit at the checkout register.

Across the state there are 50 schools receiving the grant money.

In addition to the grant money, district winners will receive additional support from the Smarter Lunchroom Movement of California Collaborative led by the California Department of Education (CDE), the Dairy Council, and the University of California Fresh Nutrition Education Program. Students will also receive nutrition education to reinforce the lunchroom makeover messaging.

 "It's never too early or too late to introduce our students to the benefits of eating healthy foods," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said. "This grant money enables school districts to apply extra resources toward a nutrition program that is creative, visual, and will resonate with students in a way that encourages them to make healthy and nutritious choices during lunch period and even after the school bell rings."

Superintendent Torlakson has placed a top priority on keeping students healthy by making sure they have access to nutritious foods and engage in regular physical activity. Studies have attributed academic success and positive student performance to healthy eating habits. Well-nourished children are able to focus in class and are ready to learn.

The CDE Nutrition Services Division created this grant program from funds it received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its Team Nutrition Training Grant.

For a complete list of grantees, visit the CDE Team Nutrition Smarter Lunchroom Makeover Funding Results webpage.