Boston, MA – Today, students at Clarence R. Edwards Middle School in Charlestown were joined by special guests during an assembly to celebrate local dairy foods and the local dairy farmers that produce them. Edwards was chosen for this event because of their involvement in Fuel Up to Play 60, a wellness program supported locally by the dairy farm families of Massachusetts. New England Patriots Player Derek Rivers, mascot Pat Patriot and Abby Shaw, the 2019 National Jersey Queen, joined middle school students for a fun morning of nutrition trivia, physical activity, and discussion about how food gets from the farm to them.
Massachusetts Farm to School’s Harvest of the Month highlights a different seasonal food each month that’s produced locally to increase students’ understanding of where their food comes from. Dairy is highlighted as the Harvest of the Month in March in Massachusetts, although it is produced throughout New England year-round. New England Dairy & Food Council provides support to schools in the New England region that implement Harvest of the Month by offering educational resources and giveaways to celebrate local dairy.
At the assembly-style event, students did a question and answer session with Rivers and Shaw, and heard from New England Dairy & Food Council Director of Youth Wellness, Erin Wholey about how dairy farmers produce milk year-round, making it local to the region and always in season.
Rivers explained why it’s important for students to learn about where their food comes from, and how it’s made. “It’s easy to forget that the foods we eat every day require someone else’s hard work to produce. After visiting a dairy farm last year, I have a greater appreciation for the process, especially because the result is so nutritious.” He said.
After hearing from speakers, students played “Moo or False” trivia with Rivers, Shaw, and Pat Patriot. They also took turns rotating through a dairy-themed minute to win it activity.
Edwards Middle School’s Principal Laryssa Doherty described the steps the Food Service staff haven taken so far to incorporate exciting new dairy options into their school meal menus.
“Our students earned a grant at a Fuel Up to Play 60 event last summer, which we used to purchase equipment that would allow us to serve smoothies with school breakfast. We’ve held smoothie taste tests with students to see what flavors they like and want they want to see on our menu. It’s been a fun process!” Said Doherty.
Developed by National Dairy Council, local Dairy Councils, and National Football League, in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture, the Fuel Up to Play 60 program is the nation’s largest in-school and student-driven wellness program reaching nearly 74,000 schools – more than 3,500 of those are right here in New England. For more information about Fuel Up to Play 60 in New England, follow New England Dairy & Food Council on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and visit NewEnglandDairyCouncil.org.
About New England Dairy & Food Council
New England Dairy & Food Council (NEDFC) is a non-profit nutrition education organization staffed by registered dietitians. NEDFC is a state and regional affiliate of the National Dairy Council® (NDC). Our goal is to ensure that health professionals, scientists, media and educators have a credible body of nutrition information upon which to base health recommendations.
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League (NFL), with additional partnership support from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. Customizable and non-prescriptive program components are grounded in research with youth, including tools and resources, in-school promotional materials, a website and student challenges. Fuel Up to Play 60 is further supported by several health and nutrition organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).
About NFL PLAY 60
In October of 2007, the NFL launched NFL PLAY 60, a national youth health and fitness campaign focused on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. Over the past decade, the NFL has partnered with leading academic, scientific and nonprofit organizations, including the American Heart Association, National Dairy Council, Special Olympics, Shriners Hospitals for Children, St. Jude, and the United Way, to help children of all abilities lead healthier, active lives. Since the launch of the campaign, the NFL has committed more than $350 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for PSAs; the NFL and its clubs have supported programs in nearly 73,000 schools nationwide, giving more than 38 million children the chance to boost physical activity levels and build a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. The NFL and its partners are committed to continuing the PLAY 60 movement for an active and healthier generation for years to come. For more information, visit nfl.com/PLAY60.
About the NFL Players Association
The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players, and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through 2020. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.
About Boston Public Schools
The Boston Public Schools (BPS), the birthplace of public education in the United States, serves nearly 57,000 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in 125 schools. BPS is committed to transforming the lives of all children through exemplary teaching in a world-class system of innovative, welcoming schools. We partner with the community, families, and students to develop in every learner the knowledge, skill, and character to excel in college, career, and life.