DHS Announces 2nd Annual "No Tennessee Child Hungry Excellence Awards" for the 2016 Summer Food Service Program Sponsors

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 | 4:34pm

Nashville – The Tennessee Department of Human Services announced the 2nd annual No Tennessee Child Hungry Excellence Awards for sponsors who participated in the 2016 Summer Food Service Program. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is intended to ensure that children who benefit from free and reduced price meals during the school year, have access to nutritious meals during the summer months. 

In recognition of the hard work and dedication SFSP sponsors and feeding sites provide, the Department is requesting nominations for the No Tennessee Child Hungry Excellence Awards until 5pm CST on October 28, 2016. SFSP sponsors have been informed of the award application process and encouraged to apply for the Rookie of the Year Award, Impact Award, Trailblazer Award, Healthy Happy Meals Award and the Shining Star Award.

“We are so excited to announce the 2nd Annual No Tennessee Child Hungry Excellence Awards,” said DHS Commissioner Dr. Raquel Hatter. “We know that a healthy meal is a part of well-being and we continue to be amazed by the dedicated sponsors who are committed to making sure Tennessee’s children receive consistent nutritious meals to support overall success, including academic achievements. The Summer Food Service Program is aligned with the 2 Gen framework relative to health and well-being. Thank you to all of our partners.”

Last year’s award winners were honored during an awards ceremony held in the Old Supreme Court Chambers of the State Capitol Building in Nashville.

"We applaud the state's efforts to showcase leading practices and recognize organizations that ensure fewer children are vulnerable to hunger and poor nutrition when school is out." said Robin Bailey, Jr., Southeast Regional Administrator, USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

2015 Award winners are listed below:

Trailblazer Award: The Trailblazer Award was presented to Cumberland County High School, a sponsor that demonstrated innovative ideas when implementing SFSP in its community. Cumberland County High School has been a program sponsor since 2013 and is located in a relatively rural area. They have increased their impact by using innovative ideas such as a mobile feeding site bus.

Impact Award: The Impact Award was presented to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, the sponsor that showed increased impact by expansion and participation between 2014 and 2015. Every year, their goal is to feed as many children as possible. They work with their food distribution sites strategically by having a mixture of traditional sites and mobile sites that are served through their new Lunch Express program. During the summer of 2015, they served over 37,000 meals at 54 sites in five counties. They increased the amount of meals served from 2014 by more than 17%.

Healthy Happy Meals Award: The Healthy Happy Meals Award was presented to the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, the sponsor that provided meals that not only met the meal pattern guidelines, but were creative, nutritious, and kid-friendly. The YMCA of Middle Tennessee has a youth obesity prevention specialist working on their SFSP program. In 2015, they worked to increase the educational and nutritional value of their SFSP program. The program has been redesigned to obtain optimal compliance with Healthy Eating and Physical Activity standards at all sites.

Shining Star Award: The Shining Star Award was presented to Murfreesboro City Schools for excelling in all award categories. They have been a trailblazer using innovative ideas like their mobile feeding program called the CHOW (Combating Hunger On Wheels) bus. With the addition of their second CHOW bus this year, they were able to increase the number of meals served by over 35,000 and the number of sites from 18 to31.

Rising Star Award: The Rising Star Award is an award that was created after DHS heard about Myka Coward’s amazing community effort to help her fellow classmates have lunches. Myka is a 10-year-old girl who started a lemonade stand in 2014 to donate all proceeds to her school cafeteria for any student to get a hot lunch if they didn't have the money to buy one. The first year she raised $46 which was enough for 23 lunches. This year she raised $126 which was enough for over 63 lunches. She is committed to doing this each summer and has worked to get her local community involved.

To learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services and the No Tennessee Child Should Go Hungry initiative visit: http://www.tn.gov/humanservices/article/dhs-tn-foodprograms-initiative.

To add your strength, send an email to NoHungryTennesseeChild.DHS@tn.gov.   Join the call to action for Tennesseans to fight hunger in their local communities by donating, volunteering, raising awareness and other activities that support the end of hunger.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or if all or part of an individual's income is Public Information and Legislative Office • Citizens Plaza Building • 400 Deaderick Street • Nashville, TN 37243 Tel: 615-313-4707 • tn.gov/humanservices derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632- 9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 

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CONTACT: Devin Stone
OFFICE: 615-313-4707

Human Services