USDA Official Says Valley City Exceeds Federal Mandates For School Lunch Program


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CITY, N.D. ( A United States Department of Agriculture officials says Valley City Public School’s food services program is above and beyond many other school districts in the nation and exceeds the new federal menu pattern regulations implemented this year. 

USDA's Darlene Sanchez listens to comments from parents and school staff members. Photos by Steve Urness.

Darlene Sanchez said, “the school day just got healthier with more fruits, vegetables and whole grains served at school breakfast and lunch as required by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act implemented this year.”

Valley City man who has students in the school district said, while fruits and vegetables are good he questioned why there wasn't enough or any protein in the new federal mandated menu. Photos by Steve Urness.

Sanchez and other school officials were treated to the annual Jefferson Elementary fruit and veggie frenzy celebration as a wheelbarrow full of fruit salad was delivered to each classroom.

Wheel barrow full of fruit salad. Photos by Steve Urness.

Sue Milender, Nutrition Services Director and Dietitian with the Valley City Public School District said, students can expect to see more nutritious food on their trays this year.

Valley City Kindergartener student enjoys her fruit salad treat on Thursday. Photos by Steve Urness.

Sanchez held a roundtable discussion with staff members and parents to educate them on the new federal mandates and to listen to pro and con suggestions about the new menu requirements.

Dressed as fruits and vegetables, serving fruit salad and delivering the important message to students to eat more fruits and vegetables daily.

Milender said, Valley City Schools has taken a leadership role in implementing healthy school meals as noted by their national bronze, silver and gold level HealthierUS certifications in previous school years.

The new measures address childhood obesity by updating requirements for school wellness policies and providing more nutrition information to parents. To learn about the meal standards, go to



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