Posted: Thursday, October 2, 2014

LiveWell Greenville awarded $13,575.31 to eleven Greenville County schools to assist with healthy fundraising and activities. Consistent with schools across the nation, many Greenville County Schools relied on food sales in the past to fund their PTAs, school clubs, sports teams and even educational programming. Funds will help them convert to healthier practices.

With the introduction of the USDA “Smart Snacks in Schools” guidelines in July of this year, all foods sold in school must now meet certain criteria. These science-based guidelines build upon recent trends in education, creating healthier environments for students.  Studies have proven that healthier students learn better and create healthier living habits for the future.

“LiveWell Greenville is excited to partner with schools as they work to improve their wellness cultures,” said Catherine Puckett, LiveWell Greenville Schools Specialist.  “Schools across our county are adding new options to their daily routines, helping to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

J. L. Mann High Academy will use the grant money to purchase two microwaves and install an outlet for the school store, and to expand their healthy snack options. Jennifer Fant, J. L. Mann PTSA President said, “"Our school store is an important source of revenue for the PTSA and our store's profits flow directly into our classrooms.  The financial help from LiveWell Greenville helps us to adapt to the new USDA guidelines while still maintaining our sales goals."

Sharon Totherow, PTSA volunteer and manager of the school store, states, “I'm excited about finding healthy options for the students. It's not as easy and it's very challenging but I am at Walmart almost daily and have resorted to contacting food makers direct to find items and make suggestions. I want to find healthy items yet make them appealing to the students.  But it does take a bit more research to find good quality snacks, drinks and meal options that conform to the guidelines. Overall, the students are used to not having candy and higher calorie snacks and are choosing the healthy options we now offer."

Tenth grade student Misha Dimmick said, "I like the healthy options like the fruit cups and wheat bagels.  They really do fill me up and help me get through the school day.  And they're tasty!"

And, the school’s administration is supportive of the new menu.  Principal Charles Mayfield said, “We are so glad to have a partner in LiveWell Greenville as we make these healthy changes and continue to improve the culture of our school.”

Hughes Middle Academy has become very creative in their fundraising efforts with the implementation of a fruit Smoothie Bar.  Jill Rothstein, Hughes PTSA Healthy Lifestyles Coordinator states, “We are super excited to present this to our students.  They’re going to love it.  These smoothies are proof that healthy options are also delicious!  We are so thankful to LiveWell Greenville for offering the funds to purchase the blenders and even signage to market our new fundraiser.” 

Laura Lynn Luce, PTSA president, said, “We have always used a variety of ways to generate funds.  Parents and students just want easy means to donate to Hughes and show their support, and we believe our families will still contribute.  The mini-grant from LiveWell Greenville helps us make the change to healthier fundraising.”

Other schools that received mini-grants from LiveWell Greenville include: Alexander Elementary, Blythe Elementary Academy, Carolina High & Academy, Chandler Creek Elementary, Fork Shoals School, League Middle Academy, Northwest Middle, Paris Elementary, and Sara Collins Elementary. See detailed list HERE.

Funds for the mini-grants are a part of a Community Transformation Grant awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to LiveWell Greenville in fall of 2011.  This grant allows LiveWell Greenville to offer technical assistance to all in schools in Greenville County as well as award the mini-grants.  The Community Transformation Grant also supports Culinary Creations’ expansion into middle schools, programs to encourage walking and biking to school, stronger high school Physical Education curriculum, the completion of wellness plans in every school, and the LiveWell Greenville Healthy School Designation.

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