HSC board member Sheelah Muhammad samples healthy school food items that will be served in Chicago public schools this year at the Go for the Gold launch luncheon on Aug. 17
Chicago responds to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Challenge to Reverse Trend in Childhood Obesity
Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) is pleased to announce the launch of the Go for the Gold campaign, a partnership of HSC, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the USDA Midwest and the Illinois State Board of Education Department of Nutrition. Go for the Gold will support Chicago public schools in meeting the high standards for food, fitness and nutrition education set by the HealthierUS School Challenge, the program First Lady Michelle Obama is promoting in the effort to reverse the trend in childhood obesity.
“It’s exciting to see parents, business leaders, chefs, school nurses and so many others from across the city come together in this effort to provide healthy school environments for Chicago’s children,” said HSC founding executive director Rochelle Davis.
The campaign builds on the new nutrition standards for school food that CPS announced in April 2010. The new standards meet and in many cases exceed the gold standard of the HealthierUS School Challenge. The challenge includes standards for school food, physical activity, physical education and nutrition education. Go for the Gold will connect schools with community resources to assist them in providing nutrition education and opportunities for physical activity.
“We recognize the vital connection between health and learning,” said Chicago Board of Education President Mary Richardson-Lowry. “The new school menus being offered this school year represent a huge step forward in providing our students with healthy and nutritious meals. The Go for the Gold campaign is exciting for our entire CPS community and extends our commitment to student wellness.”
The Go for the Gold civic and business advisory committee will be led by founding co-chairs Karen Atwood, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, and Terry Mazany, President/CEO of The Chicago Community Trust.
“In order for Go for the Gold to succeed, schools will need support from everyone in our community, including our philanthropic community and corporations,” said Atwood. “It’s an honor to lend our support to this city-wide effort for our children’s health.”
“Chicago is responding in powerful way to First Lady Michelle Obama’s call for action for our nation’s children,” said Mazany. “This effort will have an immediate impact on students across the city and will bring benefits that can last a lifetime.”
The HealthierUS School Challenge is a program of the USDA. To date, only three schools in Illinois and 773 schools nationwide have met the HealthierUS School Challenge.
“The ambition and dedication behind Go for the Gold are truly remarkable,” said Ollice Holden, Midwest Regional Administrator, USDA/FNS. “This is truly the on-the-ground embodiment of the First Lady’s vision for our children’s future.”
learn more about the Go for the Gold campaign, visit www.goforthegoldCPS.org.