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CCSD's School Nutrition Summer Meals Program Earns National Honors

CCSD's School Nutrition Summer Meals Program Earns National Honors

The Cherokee County School District has earned national honors for its School Nutrition summer meals program for the fifth time!

The school district every summer participates in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Seamless Summer Option, which offers free meals to children, from infants to age 18, during the summer.  The excellence of CCSD’s program earned the USDA’s Silver Turnip the Beet Award – only 140 school districts nationwide including 18 from Georgia earned the national honor.

“Congratulations to our entire School Nutrition team on this important recognition that honors your dedication to serving our community’s children year-round.  I’m proud of each of you and of the work you do each day,” said CCSD Chief Financial Officer Ken Owen, whose division includes School Nutrition.  “Our team not only ensures students have access to healthy and delicious meals during the school year, but they continue this critical work over the summer break.”

Mr. Owen praised Tina Farmer, executive director for CCSD School Nutrition and procurement services, and her leadership team of Toni Hedges, Trang Pham, Mark Johnson and Jessica Emmett for their oversight of the program and dedication to continuous improvement.

To earn the honor, school districts must demonstrate the highest standards in meal quality and customer service.  Meals must be “appetizing, appealing and nutritious,” meet national dietary guidelines, and include local foods, a variety of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, and low-fat and fat-free milk.

Thirty-seven percent of CCSD students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, and the summer meals program provides continued access to nutritious breakfasts and lunches throughout the summer break.  Students do not have to qualify for free or reduced-price meals to receive free meals over summer break.  

This year’s summer meals program will begin on June 3; more information will be shared next month on CCSD’s website and social media.  The program is funded by USDA grants and community donations.