New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy and defensive back Julian Posey and New Jersey Department of Agriculture representatives on Friday presented Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood with a program for winning the Eat Right, Move More contest.
Five winners were chosen in the 2011-2012 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. The program encourages students to eat more of the healthy offerings in their cafeteria and increase the amount of exercise they get each day.
"Dwight Morrow High School not only does a good job in providing a wide variety of healthy food choices for its students but also puts together creative menus of foods the teenagers actually eat," said N.J. Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. "We are proud to honor the school as one of this year's Eat Right, Move More winners."
The Eat Right, Move More program is in its sixth year. This year the winning schools were chosen that have made changes in their menus reflecting more fresh fruits and vegetables, a greater variety of vegetables such as dark green and orange vegetables and legumes, and more whole grains. Also, school lunch and breakfast menus were reviewed and the schools had to show strong support and demonstrate efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity among their students.
"I'm happy to be here today representing the Jets to honor Dwight Morrow High School," said McElroy.
"Having healthy food choices helps the students and school perform at a higher level," said Posey, "and that is great to see happening here at Dwight Morrow."
Offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson serves as spokesman for Eat Right, Move More. The campaign features posters of Ferguson in every school telling students, "Eating healthy meals helps me play my best. Your school cafeteria has a variety of nutritious foods to keep you going all day long. So let's get up and Eat Right and Move More!"
Dwight Morrow principal Peter Elbert said the more than 1,000 students in ninth through 12th grades at the school have enjoyed having a wider selection of healthy foods on a daily basis with the introduction of a "Farm Stand," featuring dark green and orange vegetables and fresh fruits.
"We have noticed that the students are often trying something different," said Elbert. "Very few students end up eating the same thing every day. The selection has improved and many students choose to have a salad over a slice of pizza and French fries."
According to the district's food service management company, Pomptonian, the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables at the school has doubled over the last year. They have expanded the variety of freshly prepared "from scratch" options, such as soup, Jamaican stew, curried chicken and coconut rice. They also have sponsored district-wide tasting nights to encourage students to sample menu favorites and try new items and some upcoming events include Sushi Day and Outdoor Grill Day.
The school's second annual Wellness Day is scheduled for June 8, with activities to help promote healthy physical, social emotional and mental lifestyles.
In addition to Dwight Morrow High School, other Eat Right, Move More schools include grand prize winner Lillian M. Steen School in Bogota, which was awarded a $5,000 kitchen makeover grant; Mercer High School in Hamilton Township, Linden High School in Linden; and Thomas Edison Central Six School in West Orange, which will receive Jets player visits in the coming weeks.
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 12 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 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. 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 fundraisers.
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, visitNJ.gov.