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 activity. Monetary incentive awards became available for each HUSSC award level: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction in 2009. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service will no longer be accepting applications for the HealthierUS School Challenge (formally known as the HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms or HUSSC: SL) Award Program, effective July 1, 2018.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
C - Direct Payments For Specified Use
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 Many schools will be certified as promotions are geared to States/territories not represented, as well as, increasing activities that encourage schools awarded under Alliance for a Healthier Generations Healthy Schools Program to apply for HUSSC: SL. 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 were certified and we were 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. 107 total number of HUSSC payments processed this fiscal year in the amount of $693,500.
Fiscal Year 2019 The HealthierUS School Challenge recognition program formally ended on December 31, 2018. Schools that submitted applications on or before the June 30, 2018, deadline was reviewed and eligible for certification. All schools that were certified before December 31, 2018, will receive award materials and a monetary incentive. Over 1,000 schools were recognized during the 2018 calendar year (Jan-Dec 2018). Due to the vast number of applications received and that were certified, FNS is still distributing awards and monetary incentives for schools that were awarded in the last calendar year. For this fiscal year, $75,000 has been processed so far for HUSSC payments, but with past year's obligated funds.
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA, P.L. 111-296)
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
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.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service will no longer be accepting applications for the HealthierUS School Challenge (formally known as the HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms or HUSSC: SL) Award Program, effective July 1, 2018.
Award Procedure
Applications are reviewed by the District, State agency, FNS Regional Office, and finally approved by FNS National Office.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
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.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
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.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Cheryl Lewis
Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive, 6th floor
Alexandria, VA 22302 US
Phone: (703) 305-1465

Sheldon Gordon
3101 Park Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22302 USA
Phone: 703-305-2893
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 18$1,500,000.00; FY 19 est $0.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$1,500,000.00; FY 16 est $1,500,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
This program was discontinued as of December 31, 2018. For historical purposes, please know that schools were 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.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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