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COPPERAS COVE – The summer feeding efforts in Copperas Cove have received national recognition.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently awarded CCISD’s Child Nutrition department its 2023 Turnip the Beet award for excellence, recognizing outstanding summer meal program sponsors across the nation who work hard to provide high-quality meals to children that are appetizing, appealing and nutritious during the summer months.

CCISD received the Gold Award, one of just 19 schools in Texas and 55 in the country to receive that level of award. In total, the USDA recognized only 140 schools across the country.

“What an exciting honor to win the USDA Turnip the Beet Award for our outstanding Summer 2023 Taste of Texas Lone Star Luau event,” CCISD Director of Child Nutrition Melissa Bryan said. “It is very encouraging when you have kids show up and learning about local Texas Agriculture and how things are grown in Texas. You would be amazed that some kids have never seen what a whole watermelon looks like or even held one. It is very rewarding to find ways to teach kids about local Texas Agriculture and do it in ways where they are having fun but they are still learning at the same time.”

Bryan and Cove’s Child Nutrition staff are no strangers to winning awards for their efforts. This year, the team was named among the “Best of the Bunch” in October’s Farm Fresh Challenge. Last April, Bryan was named a “Hunger Hero” by No Kid Hungry, which awarded the department for its diligence to feed students at school.

CCISD has an estimated 62% of students who receive free or reduced-price meals each day this year.

“The entire Child Nutrition Department staff works hard to make every day a success for the students here in Cove,” Bryan said. “We are all committed to operating a nutrition program that inspires new attitudes and changes the lives of the kids in our community. With the Texas Department of Agriculture award for 2023 Farm Fresh Challenge and, now, this USDA Turnip the Beet 2023 Award, I can say that we are continuing to strive the be the leader in helping build strong education about Texas Agriculture. Good nutrition should not be something that kids should ever worry if they will have in their day.”

The 2024 summer feeding program will be run from Summer School sites in the district. Additional information on the program will be published soon.

More information on the CCISD Child Nutrition program can be found at