Loyalsock schools offer healthy lifestyle

Receiving a gold-level Fit-Friendly Worksite Award at Wednesday’s board meeting showcases just one segment of the Loyalsock Township School District that is benefiting from a new push for healthy eating.

Beth Hufnagle, food service director, presented the board with the award that is given out by the American Heart Association, which takes into account the level of promotion of physical activity, healthy eating options and a wellness culture for employees.

But during a presentation, Hufnagle also noted that the district’s food service department continues to implement new nutrition guidelines by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. The guidelines give limits on calories, sodium, fats, among others and promotes the intake of whole-grain foods, fruits and vegetables.

Hufnagle said through the work of her staff and the education of families, students are enjoying lunches and look forward to them.

She added that a healthy lifestyle also is being promoted through the district’s greenhouse, which produces green peppers, basil and cucumbers.

The calorie limit has produced a negative response, however. A few board members brought up that high school students often buy two lunches because they still feel hungry.

Hufnagle said she also was seeing that at the high school level but noted that students should have enough food – and can ward off hunger pains – if they take the allowed two servings of both fruits and vegetables along with a single entree.

In other business, Christina Herman, director of student services, discussed senior surveys. She noted that graduating seniors take a 14-question survey in order to give feedback on their experience in the district. Questions include how well the high school prepared them to make career choices and how well a drug-free environment was provided while in the district.

But since the survey does not allow students to elaborate on their answers, an exit interview also will be conducted. This will allow students to expand on their answers and give suggestions, Herman said.