Chartwells Joins White House Campaign to Eradicate Childhood Obesity
RYE BROOK, N.Y., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Chartwells School Dining Services is joining First Lady Michelle Obama in her national campaign to end childhood obesity within the next generation. As the industry leader in school dining, Chartwells is committed to partnering with the communities it serves to, at a minimum, more than quadruple the number that qualify for gold level nutrition status of the HealthierUS School Challenge by the close of the 2010-2011 school year.
"We're honored to accept the White House's invitation to help eradicate childhood obesity and will be an active participant in the campaign," said Steve Sweeney, CEO of Chartwells. "Feeding safe, healthy and environmentally-sustainable meals to children has always been Chartwells' number one priority. Partnering with our schools to qualify for gold level status in the HealthierUS Schools Challenge helps us achieve this."
To accomplish the objectives of the HealthierUS School Challenge, Chartwells will work with the White House, federal and state agencies, the school districts it serves and the private sector to:
- Make menu and competitive food options available for schools that meet or exceed gold level nutrition standards for fruits, vegetables, whole grains and milk
- Increase nutrition education programming targeted to students and parents
- Meet the Institute of Medicine recommended standards for fat, sugar and whole grains over the next 5 years and the sodium standard over the next 10 years by pursuing discussions with suppliers to develop products which meet those standards
- Encourage participation in the HealthierUS School Challenge and provide assistance for achieving gold level status
- Work to double produce offered in school meals over the next 10 years
- Research the feasibility of a cost efficient menu that satisfies the HealthierUS School Challenge standards
Keith Cullinan, Chartwells School Dining Services President, further applauds the White House campaign. "Our current health and wellness program, Balanced Choices®, provides the foundation for enabling our school districts to meet or exceed gold level status of the HealthierUS School Challenge. We will provide the schools and communities we serve with the tools and technical assistance needed to meet this challenge."
Balanced Choices® is Chartwells' comprehensive approach to creating healthy and environmentally-sustainable school communities and is implemented in all the schools it serves. Launched in 2005, this program focuses on the same key areas that are addressed by the HealthierUS School Challenge and uniquely positions Chartwells to support our school district partners in the important areas of healthy food, nutrition education and physical activity.
About Chartwells School Dining Services
Chartwells, a division of Charlotte, NC-based Compass Group, provides dining services for over 535 public school districts, serving 2.5 million students in over 4,000 elementary, middle and high schools nationwide. For more information about Chartwells School Dining Services, visit www.eatlearnlive.com.