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School Wins NJDA’s Jets Play 60 “Eat Right, Move More” Program

For Immediate Release: April 23, 2014
 Contact: Lynne Richmond 
(609) 633-2954

(MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP) – New Jersey Department of Agriculture Director of the Division of Food and Nutrition Rose Tricario and New York Jets Kicker Nick Folk today honored Whiting Elementary School in Manchester Township as one of the winners of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Jets Play 60 “Eat Right, Move More” program. 

The Jets and Nick Folk treated the school’s 245 pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade students to a fun program and presented the school with a $2,000 prize to be used for kitchen updates and physical education equipment, made possible by the Jets, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council. 

“Whiting Elementary School officials understand the benefits of eating healthy and physical activity for children,” said Tricario. “We are proud to honor their achievement through this program.”

Photo of Whiting Elementary School accepting grant check
The NJDA and NY Jets present Whiting Elementary School with their prize

The Play 60 Eat Right, Move More program, a partnership between the Jets, the Department of Agriculture, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council, encourages New Jersey school children to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active. 

This year, there was an emphasis on selecting schools that offer breakfast in the classroom.  Additionally, 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. 

“A good breakfast is such an important way to start each day so I think it was a great focus for this year’s Eat Right, Move More program,” said Nick Folk. “Coming to Whiting Elementary today to celebrate this school’s commitment to health and wellness is a real honor for me.”

Roosevelt Elementary School in Rahway was the grand prize winner this school year, receiving a $10,000 grant, a Jets visit, and school representatives were honored at a Jets football game in December.  Whiting Elementary School was one of 10 finalist schools that competed for four more prizes based on their performance in the Jets Play 60 Challenge.  Whiting, Egg Harbor City Community School, Samsel Upper Elementary School in Sayreville and Roosevelt School #7 in Garfield had at least 100 students who committed to logging 60 minutes of physical activity every day for four weeks.

Whiting Elementary School principal Evelyn Swift said the program encouraged her students to make quality eating choices and showed them how easy it can be to integrate physical activity into their everyday lives.

“It was wonderful to have our students participate in such a worthwhile program in an effort to promote healthy eating and consistent participation in physical activity,” said Swift.  “Our students were enthusiastic and our teachers were supportive of the endeavor.”

The school has no kitchen and uses Sodexo food service management company to provide meals -- breakfast in a bag is served to the neediest students and hot and cold food is delivered to the school every day.  Fruit and salad are offered to students daily.  Every morning, an exercise is demonstrated for students to do in their classrooms, there is an annual field day and students participate in the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart.

As a professional football team that plays in New Jersey, the Jets regularly promote youth health, fitness, and education, particularly in disadvantaged communities.