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RPS receives top honors in Virginia School Board Association “Food for Thought” competition

The competition gave a nod to Richmond Public Schools’ Smarter Lunchroom Movement and Eat Fresh RPS programs.

Trevor Dickerson



Richmond Public Schools was among five school divisions to receive top honors in the 2016 Virginia School Boards Association “Food for Thought” Competition.

Established in 2012, the competition was created to educate, engage and empower school leaders to address childhood hunger and provide all Virginia students with healthier, more nutritious school meals. Winning divisions were recognized by Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe at the VSBA Conference on Education. This is the fifth year the awards were given out, and the sponsor for the awards was ABM Building & Energy Solutions.

The competition was divided into three separate categories – Healthy School Meals, Meal Access to Fight Hunger, and Wellness and Physical Activity.

Richmond Public Schools was recognized for its Smarter Lunchroom Movement and Eat Fresh RPS programs, both of which support the district’s commitment to improving student wellness through healthy eating. The Smarter Lunchroom Movement, implemented two years ago, provides training and technical assistance to school nutrition staff using a research-based model that guides students to make smarter choices in the cafeteria.

Additionally, within the past year, RPS installed 20 garden patch salad bars featuring fruits and vegetables only as well as hosted a Fruit and Veggie Week at 20 schools, and implemented training for cafeteria managers and lunchroom staff.

“The food and obesity crisis we are currently facing in our nation is dire,” said Susan Roberson, RPS Director of School Nutrition Services. “However, we believe that with the support of our School Board, leadership, staff and partners, we can change the food environment our students live in and ultimately change the course of their lives.”

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