Eat Right Move More 2008
New York Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and N.J. Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus have announced that New Jersey schools in Wayne, Sayreville, North Plainfield, Highland Park and Berkeley Township are winners of the Eat Right, Move More contest.
The Eat Right, Move More program, a partnership between the Jets and the Department of Agriculture, is an example of Gov. Jon Corzine's continued commitment to improved school nutrition for students in the state. This year's program is focused on school breakfast and how schools have made efforts to offer and promote healthy and interesting morning menu choices.
"The five winning schools this year have made providing nutritious and attractive breakfasts to their students a priority," said Kuperus. "Many studies have linked eating a healthy breakfast to better performance in school. We are pleased to be joined by the New York Jets in urging schools in the state to work toward increasing the number of students served on a daily basis."
Kuperus and Ferguson made their announcement at the grand-prize-winning school, Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne. Student representatives from the school also will be honored at the Dec. 14 Jets game against the Buffalo Bills.
The other winning schools are Samsel Upper Elementary School in Sayreville, Somerset School in North Plainfield, Bartle Elementary School in Highland Park, and Berkeley Township Elementary School. Those schools will be visited by a Jets player in the spring.
This is the third 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: "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!"
"Having been a part of this program since the beginning, it is great to see more schools getting involved and students eating healthier and exercising more regularly," said Ferguson. "I am proud to be here today to recognize Passaic County Technical Institute for its commitment to the Eat Right, Move More program."
Passaic Tech serves breakfast to about 400 of its 3,100 students daily. School lunch is prepared daily by culinary program students at the full-time high school for academics, careers and technology. The menus include fresh fruit, low-fat milk and other low-fat items, 100 percent fruit juices and whole grains.
"We are incredibly honored to be recognized for this prestigious award," said Diana C. Lobosco, chief administrator of the school. "Through the years, PCTI has fostered a commitment to healthy living through our nutritional lunch and breakfast programs, as well as through our emphasis on lifetime team and individual physical activities. This award is especially meaningful to us since PCTI's lunch and breakfast programs are assisted by our own culinary arts students who learn the essential elements of meal planning and good nutrition, which prepares them for the global workplace while also promoting healthy lifestyles."
The Jets take great pride in making a year-round commitment to their community.
"We partnered with the state of New Jersey three years ago because we recognized the importance of urging schools and students to rethink their food and exercise options," said Matt Higgins, the Jets' executive vice president of business operations. "By expanding the program's focus to include breakfast, we hope we are making an even greater impact on the well-being of many children."
Programs funded by the New York Jets Foundation touch the lives of countless young men and women in the tristate area. Over the past eight years, the Jets and their charitable foundation have donated or contributed more than $8 million to promote youth health, fitness and education, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
From fighting childhood obesity through the Generation Jets: Be Lean & Green initiative to launching a football team in a Harlem high school, urging students to eat right and move more, and supporting the efforts of the Alliance for Lupus Research, the New York Jets invest in programs that make a difference in the lives of others. In addition to the Jets Foundation, which supports their own extensive youth initiatives, the Jets partner with numerous established charitable organizations and participate in causes sponsored by the NFL.
The Department of Agriculture's school nutrition policy is the most comprehensive in the nation and 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 fundraisers.
More than 1,740 schools in New Jersey currently offer the School Breakfast Program. New Jersey is one of three states in the nation with state support for all breakfast meals served, not just for students that receive free or reduced-priced meals.
To help promote the School Breakfast Program, the Department of Agriculture developed a Website, "Food For Thought — New Jersey School Breakfast Program," at www.njdafoodforthought.com. The site has information and resources for parents, teachers and children to help them work together to ensure that students eat a healthful breakfast each morning.
For more information about the Department of Agriculture's school nutrition programs, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/fn/childadult/school.html.