New England Patriots and New England Dairy Farm Families Award Providence Career & Technical Academy with $10,000 Grant

Author: Rene Thibault

Providence, RI  Today, the New England Patriots Foundation and New England Dairy & Food Council showed their continuing commitment to student health and wellness by awarding Providence Career & Technical Academy (PCTA) a $10,000 Hometown Grant.  The funds will be used to enhance, facilitate and implement sustainable physical activity and healthy eating changes for the high school students. 

PCTA held a Hometown Grant celebration that kicked off with the arrival of the Superbowl Champion New England Patriots – Nate Ebner, Jonathan Jones, Adam Butler, Chase WinovichPatriot Cheerleaders and Pat Patriot.  Following their arrival, the $10,000 check was presented at a school-wide assembly. 

During the event, the school’s nearly 700 students heard from PCTA Principal Wobberson Torchon, Jane Vergnani, RDN, LDN; New England Dairy & Food CouncilMark Jeffery; Sodexo District Manager, and New England Patriots Defensive Back Nate Ebner. 

“It’s so important to fuel your bodies the proper way.  Starting the day off right with a healthy, balanced breakfast to help you guys focus in the classroom is extremely important,” explained Nate Ebner, “Especially at a young age it’s very important to understand nutrition and exercise is going to really set you up for success.  I’m excited to be here with my teammates today to kick off Hometown Grant here at PCTA.” 

Following the assembly, participating students broke into groups for a smoothie blend-off and a football skills and drills session.  During the smoothie blend-off teams of students created recipes and promotional plans for their drinks, they then pitched their ideas to a panel of celebrity judges made up of the VIP guests.  At the skills and drills session, Ebner, Butler, Winovich, and Jones led students through ladder and catching drills and ended the day with a flag football game. 

“We are very excited to have been chosen to receive the Hometown Grant to expand our health and nutrition and physical activity programs,” said Providence Career & Technical Academy Principal Wobberson Torchon.  “This is a privilege and a pleasure for all of us at PCTA.  We love our students we believe in them, and we want to put them in the best position possible to become the next generation of successful leaders.” 

“We say a big thank you to the New England Patriots, a big thank you to the New England Dairy & Food Council, and a big thanks to the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.  Eating nutritiously and absolutely keeping your physical activity up, is the ticket to a long, healthy life,” declared Providence Public Schools Interim Superintendent Frances Gallo. 

This is the sixth year the Patriots and New England Dairy & Food Council have come together to award the Hometown Grant to a New England School. 

The school will use this funding to help improve their breakfast program to ensure that all students have access to a healthy breakfast to start their day off right.  Ninety percent of PCTA’s students quality for free and reduced price meals.  Expanding healthy eating opportunities is key to student focus and success during the school day. 

In addition, funding will be used to purchase new physical activity equipment to help more of their students get their 60 minutes of exercise each day.  Providence Career & Technical Academy plays a pivotal role in preparing students to further their education, as well as helping them to immediately enter the work force upon graduation. 

Developed by Fuel Up to Play 60 and the National Football League, the nationwide Hometown Grant program identifies deserving schools and helps fund their physical activity and healthy eating goals.  The New England Patriots are providing funds for this this Hometown Grant.  Fuel Up to Play 60 is the nation’s largest in-school wellness program that encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.  This program is supported regionally by the dairy farm families of Rhode Island and New England. 


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 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 


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 


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