Roseville Calif., – The mission for healthy school lunches is getting a significant boost this fall at schools served by the Roseville City School District (RCSD). A new two-year grant provided to RCSD by the Life Time Foundation, a private operating foundation created by Life Time, The Healthy Way of Life Company, will help to ensure kids receive healthier school meals.
The grant-totaling nearly $200,000-will allow the schools to purchase new equipment to improve school nutrition to more than 10,000 students. Through this grant, Life Time and like-minded partner RCSD are on a mission to improve school lunches, especially in the face of national childhood obesity rates that currently approach 33.3 percent. Notably, forward-thinking Roseville’s rates are significantly lower, at 17 percent.
Megan Stinchfield, MPH, RD and nutrition program manager for the Life Time Foundation says, “We know that when prepared the right way, kids love healthy meals at school and reap healthy benefits, too. Our mission with the Roseville City School District is to enhance their already successful efforts by providing much needed additional funding and a broader range of support.”
The Life Time Foundation grant will support the schools in their continued efforts to improve school menus in favor of natural, wholesome foods that promote a healthy way of life. Students will still enjoy their favorite meals-such as chicken nuggets and pizza-but with healthier ingredients. The grant also provides funding for program related efforts, including nutrition education for students, parents and the community.
“This partnership lets us bring speed scratch cooking into our kitchens and will allow us to leverage Life Time’s buying power across the nation. It will also allow us to offer more home cooked meals and stay within financial constraints,” says Rene Yamashiro, nutrition services director for the Roseville City School District. “We can’t wait to get started and see the students’ reactions to their new food.”
In keeping with the Life Time Foundation nutrition philosophy the school districts will remove seven specific ingredients from the school menu, many of which the districts have already been hard at work to remove, including: high fructose corn syrup; artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners; bleached flour; trans fats and hydrogenated oils; and antibiotics and hormones in beef and other animal products whenever possible.
In addition to the grant, Life Time will work with RCSD to deliver nutrition and physical education lessons to first and second graders throughout the district. This will give students the foundation for understanding the need for physical activity and good eating habits that will lead them to a lifetime of health.
The Life Time Foundation has impacted more than 150 schools and nearly 90,000 students on its mission to inspire healthy people and a healthy planet by improving children’s nutrition-one school meal at a time.