At 6'6" and 312 lbs, New York Jets tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson knows a lot about the importance of eating healthy and staying fit.
That's why this year's first round draft pick was eager to become the face of the new Jets campaign, Eat Right, Move More, details of which were announced today at the Columbus Elementary School in Lodi, New Jersey.
The Eat Right, Move More campaign is a joint effort between the Jets and the State of New Jersey to encourage New Jersey school children to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active.
Standing between New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Charles Kuperus and Jets President Jay Cross, D'Brick told the kids," It is an honor to be here today to discuss the importance of nutrition. I know firsthand that eating right and exercising regularly are crucial, not only for those of us who grow up to become professional athletes, but for all kids."
Jets President Jay Cross added, "I am particularly proud of this outreach effort which will educate students about the importance of good nutrition and the options that are afforded to them in their school cafeterias. The New York Jets are committed to giving our children exposure to the sports and nutrition programs that they deserve. I want to thank Governor Corzine and Secretary Kuperus for working with us to implement this important program which will have a lasting effect on the lives of so many children."
The campaign features posters of Ferguson in every school across the state of New Jersey telling students, "When I have a healthy meal, it helps me play my best. Your school cafeteria has a variety of nutritious foods to keep you going all day long. So get up, eat right and move more!"
"We are proud to join with the Jets to urge children to take advantage of the wide array of nutritious foods that are served in their own school cafeterias," said Governor Corzine. "To grow up to be an athlete like D'Brickashaw or just to be a strong healthy adult, children must eat right from the beginning and get regular exercise."
The campaign also challenges schools to submit their meal menus to determine the five schools with the most creative meal selections and that have made the most significant changes to improve their school nutrition environment. Each of those five schools will receive a visit from a Jets player and one of those five will be randomly selected to be honored at the December 10th Jets home game against the Buffalo Bills.
The Lodi school district, in conjunction with its contracted food service management company, Pomptonian Food Service, implemented the nutrition policy this past September, a year ahead of schedule.
"There is such excitement over the new nutrition guidelines that even though the policy does not have to be fully implemented until next year, many school districts have already put the policy in place or are on their way to putting it in place," said Secretary Kuperus. "Now, to help teach this new generation about healthy eating and increased activity, the Jets are setting the example that we hope children will follow."