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FSPS Designated as "Five to Thrive"

Students at food bar



FSPS Designated as "Five to Thrive" District


Fort Smith, AR, September 17, 2018- Fort Smith Public School has earned Arkansas Children’s Hospital Natural Wonders Innovation Fund and the title as one of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance No Kid Hungry Campaign “Five to Thrive” school districts. Five to Thrive was developed to encourage school districts across the state to offer a variety of nutritional and physical activity programming to improve student health and academic outcomes.


Phillip Garcia, director of child nutrition, received program implementation funds and technical assistance to implement all five program components by August of 2018, which the district successfully accomplished. The components are listed below, each with a brief explanation as to how they have been applied throughout the district.


  1. Adopting ‘Breakfast After the Bell’ and community eligibility provision (or similar universal breakfast programs):
    • Food Carts: Southside and Northside High Schools have food carts that allow students to pick up breakfast before school and in between first and second periods. The district plans to add carts in all four junior highs as well, and add an additional cart to each high school.
  2. Serving or supporting USDA summer and afterschool meal programs:
    • The Fort Smith School District has been serving meals throughout each summer for over 12 years. Breakfast and lunch were served at 11 different schools, for 44 days this past summer, including 14,408 breakfasts and 23,978 lunches.
  3. Hosting Cooking Matters or similar nutrition education programs:
    • The Fort Smith School District offers nutrition education through consumer science courses within the schools. This provides students the opportunity to build their knowledge about nutrition as well as skills in budgeting and meal preparation.
  4. Maintaining or starting school-based pantries or weekend backpack programs:
    • The Fort Smith School District has had a great relationship with the Community Services Clearinghouse for the past 14 years, and has students helping pack box lunches throughout the school year.  
  5. Implementing an evidence-based physical activity program such as Go Noodle or Fuel Up to Play Sixty:
    • Elementary PE instructors and teachers include Go Noodle in their weekly routines. Go Noodle is an online tool that teachers can use for various activities, such as reinforcing a skill like skipping numbers or something as simple as the kids needing a wiggle break during their daily routine.



For more information regarding Five to Thrive, Arkansas No Kid Hungry, and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, visit