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Students that refrain from eating breakfast before school lose two hours of productivity per day, reported a recent study. Officials from Pollard Middle School aim to increase the amount of students participating in school breakfast, an effort that caught the eye of New England Dairy & Food Council. Pollard’s school nutrition department was recently awarded with $3,484 from New England Dairy & Food Council to help fund a mobile breakfast cart to further enhance the school’s breakfast efforts. Pollard participates in the nationwide Fuel Up to Play 60 program, which is a student-led, in-school physical activity and nutrition program. Funding for this program is provided by New England Dairy & Food Council and the dairy farmers of Massachusetts and New England.
"By purchasing a more attractive and larger capacity breakfast cart, we can make the breakfast items more appealing to our students, allowing us to display the items so they can see them more easily," said Ruth Griffin, Nutrition Services Director of Needham Public Schools. "The attractive cart will draw attention to the breakfast which is available while the students wait for school to open."
By serving breakfast in areas of the school that students frequent, the aim is to ease student accessibility to breakfast. Plus, eating breakfast helps children gain nutrients essential to their growth—especially vitamin D and calcium via dairy products.
“Nationwide, more than sixty percent of adolescents don’t consume the recommended daily amount of dairy,” said Jill Read, RD, LDN with New England Dairy & Food Council. “Bones are being built at a steady rate throughout childhood, with a sharp increase around puberty. Dairy provides the nutrients needed to promote strong bone growth that will have a lifelong impact on a child’s health.”
Students, schools, and parents can learn more about funding eligibility in the “Funding” section at FuelUpToPlay60.com. 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.
Nearly 74,000 schools across the United States, including nearly 3,600 here in New England, are participating in Fuel Up to Play 60. Developed by National Dairy Council, local Dairy Councils, and National Football League, in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture, the program empowers students to drive change and work closely with educators to find creative ways to make their school a healthier place.