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A prize-winning Healthier Schools Challenge: Wauneta-Palisade Schools receive national honors PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Saturday, 12 November 2011 17:46

Denny and Cindy Brunkhorst attend a White House reception last month where Cindy accepted a Bronze Award on behalf of the Wauneta-Palisade School Food Service, which she manages.


By Renae Gardner

WP Bronco Beat


First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a reception on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday, Oct, 17.

Those in attendance were the school food service directors, supervisors, managers and a select few administrative representatives and their spouses.

Wauneta-Palisade School Food Service Manager Cindy Brunkhorst and her husband, Denny, and Messiah Lutheran School Food Service Manager Nancy Heinicke and her husband, Gary, of Hartington, were the Nebraska schools present that won a bronze award in the Healthier U.S. School Challenge.

Wauneta-Palisade Schools received both a cash prize and recognition for taking the challenge.

The Healthier U.S. School Challenge is a voluntary initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.

Two years ago there were only 600 schools who received an award and this year 1,600 schools won.

Nebraska was the only state that had only two winners. Cindy Brunkhorst began the challenge two years ago to transform the school menu.

The White House lawn was decorated with a fall festival theme complete with picnic tables and tents.

Participants engaged in games with answers found in the Healthier U.S. School Challenge.

A huge apple made from several small apples was centered on the lawn. A healthy oatmeal raisin bar served by the White House Chefs came from a specifically designed cookbook that all participants received at the end of the celebration.Freshly-made cider and apples were also served while they enjoyed the two military bands as they took turns playing.

The speakers included a school food service director from Mississippi, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and a sixth grader from Chicago, who had the privilege of introducing the First Lady.

Each spoke about the Healthier U.S. School Challenge.

Mrs. Obama’s speech mentioned the lack of participants the first year of the Challenge when only 600 schools won awards.

This year’s goal was to double the number of winners and there are now 1,273 Healthier U.S. School Challenge winners across the U.S.

Mrs. Obama stated that it was a tribute to schools to create healthier school environments through exceptional nutrition education, nutritious food and beverage choices and is hoping that all the schools across the U.S. will “hop on board” and become winners.

For more information to qualify your school, go to the “Healthier U.S. School Challenge” web site.

Sometime soon, a representative from Washington will travel to Wauneta to award the school a banner for this accomplishment in the U.S. Challenge.

Many local businesses helped finance Cindy’s trip. The businesses that gave support were: CashWa, Harchelroad’s, Walgren’s, Thompson Foods, Champa Group LLC, Hometown Insurance and Nebraska School Nutrition Association.

Being part of this National Challenge has increased the diversity of healthy food options available for students at breakfast and lunch.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 November 2011 17:50