Healthier School Awards

Healthier School Awards








It is a picture of Gulfside Elementary School, Holiday FL, receiving their Bronze Award from USDA for being a Healthier  School. Each week I give a nutrition lesson to the 3rd Graders and assist them in maintaining their vegetable garden.  This program is Mrs. Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools.

In the picture is Kurt Browning, Pasco Co. Superintendent of Schools, Chris Clayton, Principal of Gulfside Elementary School, Vince Blancato and Allison Cumbley, Pasco Co. School Board Member.


Awards - Ray







This picture is the second part of the picture that Chef Vince Blancato.

It was from the “annual awards night” for Pasco County schools and many people were recognized for various things like essay contest winners, volunteer gardeners and people that make a difference in our community.

The people in this picture are from left to right: Superintendent of Pasco County schools Kurt Browning, Fox Hollow assistant principal Karyn Kinzie, Fox Hollow Elem. school principal Dawn Scilex, master gardeners Bob and Carla O’Brien, Chef Ray Benton and Alison Crumbley, school board member.

Vince and I have 4 schools in Pasco County that we watch over the gardens and help the children taste what they grow. WE are partnered with the University of Florida Extension Program and the staff of Betsy Crisp who go into the schools and teach K-4th grade students about eating better, the my plate  lesson, hand washing and this becomes a win-win situation because the children take home what they have learned to their parents and siblings. The garden has been a blessing for the children who now have learned a life-long lesson on how to grow their own food. No longer is the answer that we get our food from Publix, now they are farmers also. We have accomplished one of our goals at one of the gardens and that is to feed the whole school with what they harvested. We harvested enough sweet potatoes to feed 500 children sweet potatoes fries one day at Gulfside elementary in Holiday, Florida.

Chef Ray Benton, CCE, HAAC

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