HealthierUS School Challenge

Recognizing Excellence in Nutrition and Physical Activity

The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) was established in 2004 to recognize schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that are creating healthier school environments through their promotion of good nutrition and physical activity. In February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced the “Let’s Move!” campaign, which incorporates the HealthierUS School Challenge into her campaign. At that time, monetary incentive awards became available for each HUSSC level. Four levels of superior performance are awarded: Bronze with a $500 incentive award, Silver with a $1,000 incentive award, Gold with a $1,500 incentive award, and Gold of Distinction with a $2,000 incentive award.

What are some of the criteria?

  • Offer reimbursable lunches that demonstrate healthy menu planning practices and principles of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and that meet USDA nutrition standards.
  • School district must have had a School Meals Initiative review within 5 years and all corrective actions must be completed.
  • Provide nutrition education to students
  • Provide students with physical education and the opportunity for physical activity
  • Maintain an Average Daily Participation of school enrollment for reimbursable lunches of:
    • Any for Bronze and 60% for Silver and 70% for Gold and Gold of Distinction for elementary and middle schools
    • Any for Bronze, 45% for Silver and 65% for Gold and Gold of Distinction for high schools
  • Adhere to guidelines established by FNS for foods served/sold in schools outside the National School Lunch Program

Where can we find more information?

How do we apply?

  1. Enroll as a Team Nutrition School

    Link to the team nutrition enrollment form:

  2. Fill out an application

    Link to the application page on the USDA’s website:

  3. Mail application to:

    Gayle McCartney, MPH, RD
    Healthier US School Challenge Specialist
    1535 W. Jefferson St. Bin #7
    Phoenix AZ 85007

Additional Resources

  1. Whole Grains Resource
  2. Guidance on Vegetables, Beans, and Peas

Contact Information

School Health Programs
Arizona Department of Education
1535 West Jefferson Street, Bin 7
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Tel: (602) 364-3177
Toll Free: (800) 352-4558
Fax: (602) 542-1531
Gayle McCartney, MPH, RD