Healthier US School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms

HUSSC: SL is a voluntary certification initiative established to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) that have created healthier school environments through promotion of smarter lunchrooms, nutrition education, and physical

Monetary incentive awards became available for each HUSSC award level: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction in 2009.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: Organized and led the National Office review and approval of 442 applications of various award levels. Also, processed 646 awardees submissions (for FY2016 and past awardees during this period) resulting in the payment of $2.2M in award incentives. Fiscal Year 2017: Organized and led review and approval of 979 applications of various award levels ( 602 Bronze, 308 Silver, 66 Gold, and 3 Gold Award of Distinction). Also, processed 346 forms resulting in the payment of $1.4M in award incentives. In addition, contacted all backlog awardees during backlog award closeout process; which brought each record to a current verified active and processing or in-active and closed status. Fiscal Year 2018: Many schools will be certified as we are able to promote the program from the State and Local level along with our partners, Action for Healthy Kids and Alliance for a Healthier Generations' Healthy Schools Program.

Uses and Use Restrictions

These are discretionary funds. The monetary incentives are available to all schools that achieve HUSSC status by meeting the required criteria beginning on January 1, 2009.

Schools approved as a HUSSC school under the current criteria prior to this announcement, will be eligible for the monetary incentive award. In addition to the plaque, banner and recognition currently provided, HUSSC schools approved under the current criteria will receive the following monetary incentive awards: - $2,000 Gold Award of Distinction - $1,500 Gold - $1,000 Silver - $500 Bronze All HUSSC award monies must be deposited into the nonprofit school food service account and used for allowable expenses under that account.

The monetary incentive awards are available until the funds are depleted.

All HUSSC award monies must be deposited into the nonprofit school food service account and used for allowable expenses under that account.

The monetary incentive awards are available until the funds are depleted.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility


Beneficiary Eligibility

School decision makers, school food service staff, teachers, children, parents, other educators.


Yes, schools or SFAs are required to complete a HealthierUS School Challenge application and must submit supporting documentation as well. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. School must be enrolled as a Team Nutrition School prior to applying, which is a free process.

Award Procedures

Applications are reviewed by the District, State agency, FNS Regional Office, and finally approved by FNS National Office.


Not Applicable.


Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA, P.L. 111-296).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 90 days.


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Schools are awarded and the certification period is for 4-years. Schools receive a one-time monetary incentive (for the 4-year period). However, schools may apply for a higher award level one year from the date of their current award. If the school is awarded for a higher award or if the school is about to expire from their 4-year award period and is awarded, they will receive another monetary incentive. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements


No reports are required.


No audits are required for this program.


No Data Available.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 16 Not Available; FY 17 est $1,500,000; and FY 18 est $1,500,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Schools are awarded monetary incentive based on the applied award level: Bronze - $500 Silver - $1000 Gold - $1500 Gold Award of Distinction - $2000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Memo describing use of monetary incentives April 1, 2010 MEMO CODE: TA 04-2010 Guidelines exist in the form of criteria.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices.

Headquarters Office

Cynthia Long, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive Room 640, Alexandria, Virginia 22302 Email: Phone: (703) 305-2590.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

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