Hudson County School Wins Grand Prize in NJDA, Jets, Dairy Council Eat Right, Move More Program
(WEST NEW YORK) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher and New York Jets offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson announced today that schools in Bogota, Englewood, Hamilton, Linden and West Orange are this year’s winners of the Eat Right, Move More contest.
Fisher and Ferguson visited the grand prize winner, West New York Public School #4 in West New York, for a special program and to present the school with a check for a $5,000 kitchen makeover, made possible by the Jets and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign. School officials plan to use the money to update and repair the school’s salad bar serving system, increase access to daily fruits and vegetables with interesting containers and educate students with sign boards with nutrition facts and impacts of their choices.
“We have seen improvements in school nutrition, including more whole grains, lower fat milk and an abundance of fruits and vegetables and the Eat Right, Move More program has been a natural complement to these efforts,” said Secretary Fisher. “We are very proud of PS #4 and this year’s other winning schools for their achievements and commitment to making breakfast available to more students on a daily basis.”
The Eat Right, Move More program, a partnership between the Jets, the Department of Agriculture and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign, encourages New Jersey school children to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active.
This year, the emphasis was on schools that offer breakfast in the classroom. Additionally, school meal menus were reviewed and the schools had to show strong support and demonstrate efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity among their students.
Earlier this year, Secretary Fisher and New Jersey Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf urged schools around the state to offer the federally-funded school breakfast after the start of the school day, ensuring them it could be considered instructional time. Since then, many more schools have adopted the program.
This is the seventh year of the Eat Right, Move More Program, with D’Brickashaw Ferguson as spokesman. The campaign features posters of Ferguson in every school telling students, “Your school cafeteria offers a variety of healthy foods and low-fat milk to keep you going all day long. Fuel your mind and body with nutritious foods like Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables. So, let’s get up and Eat Right, Move More!”
“Over the past seven years Eat Right, Move Move has been helping to improve the health and wellness of countless New Jersey students,” said Ferguson. “Giving my support and congratulations to this great program is an honor each and every year.”
PS #4 has 300 3rd through 6th grade students who are all provided with a complete and balanced breakfast each day in the classroom during the morning announcements. It also hosts a Farm to School program, using local produce as much as possible in school meals, and a school garden funded by private grants.
The school has been recognized before for its healthy initiatives. They were presented with an award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generations by former President Bill Clinton and were visited by television show host Rachel Ray last year.
PS #4 is currently participating in the Department’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program, which provides fresh produce to students during the school day, along with nutrition education. The goal of the program is to expose children to healthy foods so their fruit and vegetable consumption increases, ultimately leading to improved lifelong dietary habits.
The school also emphasizes increased physical activity by having the Wake Up and Work Out Program one-hour exercise program twice a week and participating in Walk Across America and Jump Rope for Heart Program.
“The pride this award gives to our students and staff is tremendous,” said John Fauta, West New York Superintendent of Schools. “I believe, wholeheartedly, that a well-fed child and a sound body make for a better student academically. We are proud of our breakfast before the bell program where each child is given the opportunity to have a healthy breakfast before school starts. Our Wellness program has been embraced throughout the district. Our staff provides the nutrition and physical education and activities that help our students to perform to the best of their abilities during the school day. Our entire School Staff go above and beyond their scope to make sure these programs are affective.”
The other winning schools will receive visits from Jets players in the spring. The schools are: Midstreams Elementary School in Brick Township; George L. Hess Educational Complex in Hamilton; William B. Cruse #11 School in Passaic; and Paterson Public School #2 in Paterson.
The New York Jets take great pride in a long-standing, year-round commitment to our community. Programs funded by the New York Jets Foundation touch the lives of countless young men and women in the tri-state area by promoting fitness, health, and education, particularly in disadvantaged communities. Over the past twelve years, the Jets and their charitable foundation have contributed more than $12 million to a wide range of community-based causes.
From fighting childhood obesity through the Eat Right, Move More initiative, to launching a football team at an urban high school, to urging students to be active for at least 60 minutes every day the New York Jets invest in programs that make a difference in the lives of others. In addition to our focus on youth development, the Jets support the efforts of the Alliance for Lupus Research, numerous established charitable organizations and causes sponsored by the NFL.
The Department of Agriculture’s comprehensive school nutrition policy covers pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students. The policy limits fat and sugar content in foods offered in a la carte lines, snack bars and vending machines, school stores and as part of on-campus fund-raisers. More than 687,000 students in both public and private schools participate in the National School Lunch Program, administered by the Department of Agriculture.
For more information about the Department’s school nutrition programs, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/fn/childadult/school.html.