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  • PSSAM Staff

Spotlight: AACPS Earns National Honors for Summer Meal Programs

April 28, 2024

By: Eye on Annapolis Staff

 

Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) has again been recognized as among the best school systems in the nation for its efforts to serve nutritious and appealing meals to children through the summer months when school is not in session.

The school system is the only one in the state to earn the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Turnip the Beet Award. AACPS earned a Silver Award, the third through the program in the last seven years. The school system also earned Silver Awards in 2017 and 2021.


USDA created the awards to showcase agencies that are going above and beyond to ensure that children and teens are receiving high-quality meals that are both nutritious and appetizing.


“These vital partners help fill a hunger and nutrition void, playing a meaningful role in making sure children have the nutrition they need to learn, grow and thrive,” USDA said in announcing the honorees.


AACPS served nearly 94,000 meals at 60 locations last summer.


“One of my first programmatic visits when I arrived as Superintendent two years ago was to see our summer meals program in action,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mark Bedell. “I continue to be amazed and inspired at the lengths to which our Food and Nutrition Services team goes to ensure that students across our county have healthy meals, even when school is not in session.”


The USDA Free Summer Meals Program is administered in Maryland by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and is critical in the lives of youth whose risk for food insecurity increases during the summer months when they no longer have access to school meals. Summer meals can assist in alleviating summertime food insecurity, and can positively impact children’s growth and development by offering nutritious meals and encouraging children and teens to develop healthy habits at a young age. High quality summer meals provide daily energy and help make sure children are healthy and ready to learn when they return to school in the fall.


AACPS’ 2024 summer meals program begins on Monday, June 17, 2024. Meal site locations will be published later this spring.





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