RJ Grey Junior High School has been chosen to receive $1,638 to support its Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative, the New England Dairy & Food Council announced today. RJ Grey Junior High School was selected from among hundreds of schools across the country that applied for funding to help them jumpstart and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements. This nationwide funding program offers schools up to $4,000 to help them increase awareness of and access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity opportunities for students. Funding for this program is provided by New England Dairy & Food Council and the dairy farmers of Massachusetts.
Funds for Fuel Up to Play 60 provides support for a variety of activities and tools, such as foodservice materials and equipment, nutrition and physical education materials, student and staff incentives, staff development and overall Fuel Up to Play 60 implementation.
The funds will be used to purchase a new smoothie blender to help produce nutrient-rich smoothies made with fruit, milk and yogurt. Smoothies will be offered to students five days a week at lunch with a warm soft pretzel and choice of milk. To help promote the new smoothie offerings, the school nutrition department will provide free smoothie taste test samples to the students during lunch for a week before they become a permanant menu item. Additionally, the health education teacher has partnered up with the school nutrition director to develop a student smoothie recipe contest which will run this spring.
“We are thrilled to receive this funding from the New England Dairy and Food Council,” said Kirsten Nelson, school nutrition director for the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District. “We have been offering smoothies at our High School this year and are so excited to be able to bring smoothies to the students at the RJ Grey Junior High. What a great offering for lunch for our students! We know the students will enjoy the smoothies as much as the High School students do.”
More than 73,000 schools across the United States are participating in Fuel Up to Play 60. Developed by National Dairy Council, local Dairy Councils and National Football League (NFL), in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the program encourages youth to consume nutrient-dense foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Multiple health organizations and several major corporations also support Fuel Up to Play 60.
“We are excited that Fuel Up to Play 60 has really taken off in Acton. By offering fruit and yogurt smoothies, students have yet another healthy option available to them in the school cafeteria,” said Jill Read, RD, LDN, nutrition specialist with New England Dairy & Food Council.
Schools, parents and students can learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60 at FuelUpToPlay60.com. Schools can learn more about eligibility requirements, and find the Funds for Fuel Up to Play 60 application, at FuelUpToPlay60.com. There are several application windows each year, including the upcoming deadline on June 4, 2014.