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HCS School Nutrition Earns Top-Level Golden Radish Award

Submission Date: November 15, 2019

Release Date:  For Immediate Release

Contact: J.D. Hardin, 770-957-6601 ext. 161, john.hardin@henry.k12.ga.us

(Release # 0009-11-19)

HCS Nutrition Services 2019 Golden Radish Award Platinum Level 2 Years in a Row!  

HCS School Nutrition Earns Top-Level Golden Radish Award

District department earns second platinum-level award, highest recognition possible

HENRY COUNTY, GA – The Henry County Schools School Nutrition Department received their second consecutive Platinum Level Golden Radish Award during a recent ceremony held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. 

“Our School Nutrition Department is responsible for providing healthy meals to students, staff, and school visitors on a daily basis, and they continue to set the bar for excellence in the areas of quality and delivery,” said Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis.  “The food prepared for our students in every school is important in ensuring that each student has the best chance at focusing and excelling in the classroom.”

A total of 90 schools were recognized in the grand event hosted by Georgia Organics, the UGA Cooperative Extension, and the Georgia Departments of Education, Agriculture, Public Health, and the Department of Early Care and Learning.  The awards that are handed out recognize school districts incorporating farm-to-school principles into their school environment.  Examples of aforementioned principals include providing locally grown food options for breakfast and/or lunch, or having students participate in taste tests of locally grown food.

There are five different levels of recognition a school can earn – Honorary, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.  Henry County was one of only 22 schools earning the highest honor of Platinum.  School districts that satisfy the Gold level for all ten criteria are awarded Platinum-level status.

A few of the highlights from the district’s efforts in 2018-19 that were recognized by the selection committee include:

  • Georgia-produced food items are served to students daily, including low-fat milk products, Bimbo bread, and Proview chicken products.
  • The majority of Henry County High schools’ agricultural programs have a tower garden system in addition to their greenhouses.
  • The Nutrition Department collaborated with the after school program to provide taste tests and cooking classes for elementary students.

“We are humbled to receive the state’s top honor for school nutrition for the second year in a row,” said Kantrell Brown, Executive Director of School Nutrition.  “We don’t take lightly the responsibility we have to provide our students, staff, and visitors with exceptional quality in food choices.  It’s important for us to allow students to learn about the many components that go into providing food through a large-scale production by way of gardening programs, taste-testing, and cooking classes.”

The HCS School Nutrition Department serves over 30,000 meals per day on average, including breakfast and lunch combined.  During the 2018-19 school year, the department served 1.7 million breakfast trays and 3.6 million lunch trays those eating in the cafeteria. 

Brown added, “Our department of over 300 employees works hard each and every day and takes great pride in the service we provide to our school community.”

You can find out more about Henry County Schools at www.henry.k12.ga.us.

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Image – HCS School Nutrition Executive Director Kantrell Brown (third from right) accepts the Platinum Level Golden Radish Award from state officials. (L-R) Richard Woods (GA Dept. of Education State Superintendent), Kathleen E. Toomey (GA Dept. of Public Health Commissioner and State Health Officer), Michael J. Martin (UGA Director of Extension County Operations), Kantrell Brown (Henry County Schools Executive Director of School Nutrition), Amy Jacobs (Commissioner of the GA Dept. of Early Care and Learning) and Joe Reynolds (Georgia Organics Board Chairman)