It’s been a tough year financially for RSU 19.But the school district is getting winning marks, and national recognition, for the foods it serves up.Winning the bronze award in the USDA recognized Healthier US Challenge Program is something the entire district is being honored for.”This is just awesome. The entire food service department in RSU 19 has worked so hard,” said Greg Potter, superintendent.”This was the biggest district I’ve handed out awards to, so it’s nice to see so many people getting recognized, especially food service staff, because they don’t get recognition as often as they deserve,” said Stephanie Stambach with the state of Maine Child Nutrition Services.Winning this award means the staff in every school worked hard to keep students healthy and happy with what they are eating.”It means they’re getting a wide variety of different foods, different colors of fruits and vegetables, because each color has an important place in our diet, also tastier meals as well,” said Stambach.”It’s kind of an art here. The kids are not easy to trick. If you’re going to put nutritious and healthy food in front if them, it needs to taste good and it needs to be attractive. and, that’s what I think really stands out about the effort that the entire department has made in this menu planning,” said Potter.It’s planning they say is a constant effort.”The benefit to a healthier, nutritional meal is endless. We know that with nutrition the kids are going to behave better, they’re going to be able to concentrate better in their class work,” said David Leighton, RSU 19 Food Service Director.They think other schools can use their district as an example.”If I said anything to other schools that haven’t embraced this yet, do it because it’s just endless the benefit that you’re going to get in the end, because these kids do appreciate what we do,” said Leighton.