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Big Blue Bus Wins National USDA Award
Washington Court House City Schools and the Big Blue Bus summer food service program has earned the national “Turnip the Beet” Bronze Award.

The Big Blue Bus in front of Washington High School with the Turnip the Beet award stamp on it and the USDA logo

Presented by the USDA, the Turnip the Beet Award recognizes outstanding summer meal program sponsors across the nation who work hard to offer high quality meals to children that are appetizing, appealing, and nutritious during the summer months.

Earning the Bronze Beet, the Blue Lions were recognized for taking a leadership role to improve meal quality and nutrition in the summer. 
Out of the thousands of summer food service programs across the nation, less than 100 were considered for the award and only 20 will ultimately earned the prestigious accolade. 

“The work behind making this program successful is nothing short of incredible,” said Gary Campbell, WCHCS Food Service Director. “JoLynn VanRhoden, our program’s coordinator, and all of our workers and volunteers work tirelessly developing, preparing, and delivering meals that are not only well-rounded and nutritious, but also appealing to the kids in our community.”

According to the USDA, summer meals are critical in the lives of millions of our nation’s youth, whose risk for food insecurity increases during the summer months when they no longer have access to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program.

“SugarCreek Packing, Cargill, and McDonald’s of Fayette County, and our many other partners that continue to make this program possible,” highlighted Campbell, “as their generous contributions help keep us on the road each day throughout the summer.”

Summer meal programs, including the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) within the NSLP, present the opportunity to help alleviate summertime food insecurity and positively impact children’s growth and development by offering nutritious meals and encouraging children to develop healthy habits at a young age.

High quality summer meals provide daily energy, and help make sure children are healthy and ready to learn when they return to school in the fall.

The Turnip the Beet Award was created to showcase sponsors who are going above and beyond to ensure that children in their care are receiving high-quality meals that are both nutritious and appetizing.

Since its inception in 2019, the Big Blue Bus has served over a half a million free meals to children across Fayette County.  With the addition of the Little Blue Truck in 2023, WCHCS has continued to expand its reach into the community, serving hot and fresh meals Monday through Friday during summer break.

The Big Blue Bus will hit the road for the 2024 season in early May. For more information, visit