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Urbandale NutServ 2C PMS

Urbandale Community Schools’ Nutrition Services Wins Healthy Meals Incentives Recognition Award

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We proudly announce that UCSD Nutrition Services received a Healthy Meals Incentives Recognition Award for making improvements to the nutritional quality of our district’s school meals.

Awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) in collaboration with Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK), UCSD received the Lunch Trailblazer Award for our work in collaboration with Chef Rebecca Polson to decrease sodium at lunch through scratch cooking. Our team came together to learn new culinary skills and the value of using homemade seasoning blends to decrease sodium for our students. In doing so, we were able to trial a number of new fresh veggie dishes such as assorted roasted vegetables, ratatouille, roasted potatoes with a custom dry ranch seasoning, and more!  Overall, sodium was reduced by around 90- 130 mg. Samples were provided to students at UHS and UMS to gauge their interest, and we were blown away by the response. 


As an award recipient, we are also receiving national and local recognition and travel stipends to attend a national Healthy Meals Summit.

Lunch Trailblazer Award winners improved the nutrition quality of school lunches by meeting weekly sodium guidelines and implementing student engagement and/or nutrition education.

“We congratulate UCSD on this important achievement,” said Rob Bisceglie, Executive Officer & President for Action for Healthy Kids. “The HMI Recognition Awards are an opportunity to showcase innovative school nutrition practices that provide children with access to nutritious school meals,” he added.

“One of America’s best opportunities to improve child health is through supporting schools in providing tasty and nutritious meals,” said Cindy Long, administrator of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service. “This Recognition Award highlights the remarkable achievements UCSD has made in offering healthy meals that students enjoy, and we look forward to them sharing their best practices to help other schools follow in their footsteps.” Long added that each school day, USDA school meal programs reach around 30 million children from all communities and backgrounds across the country. 

AFHK is recognizing school districts to spotlight innovative practices, student and community engagement activities, and strategies schools have used to provide meals that are consistent with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans – all as part of a cooperative agreement to develop and implement the USDA FNS’s Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative. Learn more about the Healthy Meals Incentives at

Healthy school meals are an essential part of the school environment and a proven tool for improving a child’s health, growth, development, and educational outcomes. AFHK and USDA are committed to working together to strengthen school meals and investment in a bright future for our children.