School Meal Challenge improving student health through competition

Kennedy ES students enjoy a pizza party after achieving 100-percent participation in HISD's breakfast program.

Kennedy ES students enjoy a pizza party after achieving 100-percent participation in HISD’s school breakfast program.

HISD’s Nutrition Services Department is supporting students in achieving high scores on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) by working with schools to adapt, promote, and reinvigorate their meal programs for the upcoming testing season.

The department launched a friendly competition on Feb. 10 to see which schools could increase their on-campus meal consumption by students by at least three percent. The School Meal Challenge, which runs through April 4, is designed to improve students’ academic performance and health by encouraging children to eat district-provided breakfast and lunch.

Schools that increase meal participation the most are being recognized weekly, and 21 campuses will be rewarded at the end of the competition with prize packages containing movie passes, catering bucks, and even Kindles, laptops, or bicycles.

As one of the weekly winners, Kennedy Elementary School’s fourth-graders recently received a pizza party for 100-percent participation in the breakfast program. “We want them to do well on the tests,” said Nutrition Services Operations Manager Maggie Riley, “and that’s difficult to do on an empty stomach.”

For more information on the School Meal Challenge, please contact a Nutrition Services area senior operations manager or email Nutrition Services at fsresponseline@houstonisd.org.

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