Children working outside on project

PHS earns two Healthy Meals Incentives Recognition Awards from USDA and Action for Healthy Kids

Portage Township Schools received two Healthy Meals Incentives Recognition Awards for improving the nutritional quality of their school meals. Awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) in collaboration with Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK), PTS received the Innovation in the Preparation of School Meals Award and the Innovation in Nutrition Education Award. The PTS Food Service Department earned the two awards for incorporating new made-from-scratch menu items using local agricultural products and implementing nutrition education activities throughout the school.

“We congratulate Portage Township Schools on this important achievement,” said Rob Bisceglie, Executive Officer & President for Action for Healthy Kids. “The HMI Recognition Awards are an opportunity to showcase innovative school nutrition practices that provide children with access to nutritious school meals,” he added.

“One of America’s best opportunities to improve child health is by supporting schools in providing tasty and nutritious meals is,” said Cindy Long, administrator of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service. “This Recognition Award highlights the remarkable achievements Portage Township Schools has made in offering nutritious meals that students enjoy, and we look forward to them sharing their best practices to help other schools follow in their footsteps.” Long added that each school day, USDA school meal programs reach around 30 million children from all communities and backgrounds across the country. 

PTS Director of Food Services Dawn Kelley said she is proud of her staff for working together to find innovative breakfast and lunch practices that benefit all students.

"Being honored for our innovative approaches to meal preparation and nutrition education is a testament to our ongoing commitment to providing exceptional school meals at Portage Township Schools," Kelley said. "We firmly believe that access to nutritious and delicious meals is fundamental to students' health, growth, development, and academic achievements. These awards inspire us to continue our journey of excellence in school nutrition."

PTS superintendent Dr. Amanda Alaniz is proud of the Food Services team for finding unique ways to serve breakfast and lunch every day.

"Our food service staff across the district works tirelessly to incorporate innovative and healthy ideas to breakfast and lunch for our nearly 7,000 students," PTS superintendent Amanda Alaniz said. "For them, their job is about more than feeding children; it's about ensuring all students have equal access to healthy and delicious food."

As an award recipient, PTS will receive national and local recognition and travel stipends to attend a national Healthy Meals Summit in Las Vegas, NV. The HMI Recognition Awards are open to all school districts, and more information can be found at