No Carbonated Beverages in Evanston, Wyoming, Schools!
Fundraising with Healthful Choices in Casper's Dean Morgan Junior High

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No Carbonated Beverages in Evanston, Wyoming, Schools!

Armed with information by USDA about foods of minimal nutritional value and reimbursable lunch, Judy Rossmeisl, Evanston, Wyoming School Food Service Director, met with the Uinta County School District #1 Superintendent and the high school principal to discuss giving up the National School Lunch Program.

A few years ago in an effort to increase lunch participation Rossmeisl offered free soft drinks on the lunch line. But a memorandum from USDA stating that no food of minimal nutritional value can be served in school serving or eating areas forced Rossmeisl to reevaluate the foods offered in school.

The need to feed students who meet the guidelines for free and reduced lunch kept the trio on track with the National School Lunch Program for at least one more year. A new district policy took soft drinks out of the schools.

"Carbonated soft drinks are no longer provided at lunch and vending machines are stocked with water and juice. Soft drinks are available at after school concession sales," says Rossmeisl.

To prepare students and parents about the new policy, Rossmeisl sent home a parent letter explaining food changes at school. According to Rossmeisl, "Nearly all the feedback from parents has been positive. Parents say they're glad the schools are offering more nutritious foods."

When she offered milk at catered functions for administrators, she kept running out of milk - so now milk is on the catering menu, and foods of minimal nutritional value are not part of the Uinta County Schools.

Way to go, Judy! You are a shining star in reminding us that nutrition and learning are equal partners in a healthy school nutrition environment.

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Fundraising with Healthful Choices in Casper's Dean Morgan Junior High

Karen Meeboer now sells water and juice to her junior high students. She used to sell candy. "I didn't know that my choices had such a big impact on the students," says Meeboer. After participating in a Wyoming Department of Education session on creating a Healthy School Nutrition Environment, the Dean Morgan Junior High PE teacher made some changes.

Fundraising for her department has not diminished with the change in her menu. Meeboer said, "It makes more sense for me to offer students a healthier choice, especially as a PE teacher."

Way to be a role model, Karen!

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Source:  Judy Barbe, MS, RD, Montana/Wyoming Program Manager, Western Dairy Council

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