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For Immediate Release
July 30, 2019

Purdue University Fort Wayne’s TRIO Upward Bound Summer Academy “Turnip the Beet” Project Receives National Recognition

Key Info

  • Turnip the Beet Award presented to TRIO Upward Bound Summer Academy
  • Nutrition project received national silver award plaque
  • Project continues this summer; students hope to win gold medal next year

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced the recipients of its third annual Turnip the Beet Summer Meal Programs for 2018. Purdue University Fort Wayne’s 2018 TRIO Upward Bound Summer Academy is one of 66 recipients nationwide to receive a Silver Award for the project they began last summer with their collaborating partner, the Classic Café.

In honor of their achievement, Beth Flesher, a school nutrition specialist with the Indiana Department of Education, presented the TRIO Upward Bound students with a silver medal plaque at a news conference this afternoon in the Atrium of the Walb Student Union.

Nicholas Gray, TRIO Upward Bound’s director, says the students began work on the project last summer, spending time in the St. Henry Community Gardens, helping to build raised garden beds, weeding the beds, sorting through donations to the St. Henry’s Thrift Store, and working with Classic Café on menus, food preparation, and service.

“The project takes more than just the summer to complete as the students must keep records of pretty much everything they do for and with the Summer Food Service program, then they have to compile them, and create and file reports in the fall,” says Gray. “We learned a lot from the previous two years in the project and now we’re working on our third project this summer. The students are really hoping that with everything they’ve learned, they can achieve a gold medal when awards are presented again next year.”

A total of 118 awards were presented for the 2018 projects. There were 15 gold, 66 silver, and 37 bronze winners.

About the Turnip the Beet Awards
Turnip the Beet award winners are summer meal sponsors who are going above and beyond to ensure their meals are both nutritious and appetizing. They showcased their excellence by serving a variety of vegetables and fruits throughout the week; serving whole grains and dairy products; and serving culturally-appropriate meals. Sponsors also conducted taste tests with the children, incorporated the feedback into the menus, and offered nutrition education activities along with the meals. Learn more about the program.

About the Purdue Fort Wayne TRIO Upward Bound Program

Through Upward Bound, you’ll experience college life firsthand—it is our goal to help you realize your college dreams. Our nine-month Academic Year Component provides academic counseling, academic instruction on Saturdays, weekly tutoring, college visits, cultural and social experiences, and post secondary assistance. The six-week Summer Academy adds more classes and college visits, as well as a three-week residential stay on Purdue Fort Wayne’s campus, where you’ll live in our comfortable and convenient on-campus Student Housing and get the true college experience.

Our program focuses on student development and is fully funded each year by a grant from the US Department of Education for $500,000. TRIO programs support higher education for all students, without regard to race, gender, national origin, or disability.

For more information contact Nicholas Gray at 260-481-4148 or