Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has awarded approximately $5.8 million in Team Nutrition Training Grants to 18 states to help children develop good nutrition and physical activity habits for healthier lifestyles. The funding provides schools with nutrition education materials for children and parents as well as technical assistance for communities and school food service providers.
Team Nutrition is a key component in the efforts of USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to enhance children's lifelong eating and physical activity behaviors by incorporating the principles of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid.
States will provide training and technical assistance to food service staff in preparing more fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products, and other healthier foods during the two-year grant period. The grants also support efforts to help schools reach out to parents, teachers, caregivers, and others to capitalize on the positive role-model potential they have for children.
In addition to Team Nutrition, FNS encourages elementary schools to take the HealthierUS School Challenge, promotes the use of USDA Foods, and provides schools with technical assistance to create and maintain healthier school environments and to implement their wellness policies.
The 18 states receiving grants are Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
More information on the Team Nutrition Training Grants and how schools can become Team Nutrition schools is available at http://teamnutrition.usda.gov.