Yogurt manufacturer Siggi’s announced Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) Dietitian Allison Thirion as the winner of the fourth annual Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs contest. Thirion will receive a $10,000 grant to help support her initiative, the Nutrition Network.
The Nutrition Network will connect students in schools across CMSD to credentialed experts who will provide evidence-based nutrition education to teach students about the importance of eating healthy, whole foods. CMSD has partnerships with dietetic programs at Kent State University, Case Western Reserve University, The University of Akron, Cuyahoga Community College and Marshall University that will support the Nutrition Network.
Each session will include a lesson taught by a nutrition expert who will encourage engaging discussion with the students, and a culinary sampling where students will have the opportunity to taste new foods and discuss how it fits within the lesson’s discussion. The structure of this program aligns with CMSD’s principle school autonomy, allowing all 93 schools to individualize curriculums and teaching.
“There is a strong desire in our school district for nutrition education,” says Thirion. “Previously, we have not had access to the resources and funding to develop a proper program. I’m so grateful and honored to be named the winner of this year’s Siggi Supports Entrepreneurs program. With this grant, we plan to reach 5,000 students and educators in the Nutrition Network’s first year.”
“With this valuable grant from Siggi’s yogurt, thousands of students in CMSD will have access to quality nutrition education,” said Chris Burkhardt, executive director of school nutrition. “Through Allison’s innovative program, we will be able to connect teachers with local nutrition experts to complement what students are learning in the classroom.”