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HoLa Recognized for Excellence in Nutrition, Promoting Overall Good Health

For Immediate Release: April 17, 2015
Contact: Lynne Richmond 
(609) 633-2954 

(HOBOKEN) – The New Jersey Department of Agriculture and New York Jets tight end Zach Sudfeld today honored Hoboken Dual Language Charter School in Hoboken as one of this year’s first-prize winners in the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Jets PLAY 60 “Eat Right, Move More” program.

Department of Agriculture (NJDA) Food and Nutrition Division Director Rose Tricario and Zach Sudfeld held a special program for  the students  and presented the school with a $5,000 prize to be used for kitchen updates and physical education equipment, made possible by the Jets, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council, Inc. 

“Hoboken Dual Language Charter School students are benefitting from the administration’s commitment to providing highly nutritional options in the school cafeteria as well as encouraging physical fitness both during and after school,” said Rose Tricario, Director of the NJDA’s Division of Food and Nutrition. “We are proud to honor their achievement through this program.”

Photo of the awarding of a check to HoLa
Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, NJDA Food and Nutrition Division Director Rose Tricario, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, HoLa Director Jen Sargent, Physical Education teacher Jessica Gomez Martino, Marta Pizarro and Zach Sudfeld.

The Jets PLAY 60 “Eat Right, Move More” program, a collaboration between the Jets, NJDA, RWJF and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council, Inc., encourages New Jersey school children to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active. 

To win, schools had to show they offer healthier snacks and have 100 students or more participate in the Jets PLAY 60 Challenge, where students logged at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for four weeks.  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. 

“I am honored to be here to present HoLa with its $5,000 prize and celebrate the school’s commitment to healthy eating and physical fitness,” said Jets player Zach Sudfeld. “They are setting an example for the entire state.”

HoLa currently has 292 kindergarten through 6th grade students but will eventually expand to include up to the 8th grade.  Lunch is served family style through a vendor, Feeding Our Children, which balances the menu to exceed a range of food-based and nutrient-based standards to ensure they contribute effectively to a good diet.  Feeding Our Children offers a variety of colors on the plate and adds fun foods, such as croissants and corn bread, all low-fat and whole grain.

All of the snacks provided by Feeding Our Children are whole grain and low or non-fat.  Fresh vegetables are offered with low-fat dips and local produce is supplied during the growing season.

The school has incorporated many types of movement along with their physical education classes.  They offer yoga and international dance.  After school, they provide various sports clinics as well as Bollywood and hip hop dance.  HoLa had 145 students participate in the Play 60 portion of the contest.

“This was an excellent way to get kids moving and letting them know the importance of healthy eating and being active,” said school principal Jen Sargent. 

Sargent said half of the prize money will go toward a new lunchroom table, table warmer and soup kettle; the other half toward introducing new sports and replacing damaged sporting equipment.

Hoboken Dual Language Charter School was one of four first-place winners in this school year’s Play 60 “Eat Right, Move More” program.  The other winners, Adamsville Primary School in Bridgewater, Glen Meadow Middle School in Vernon and Aaron Decker School in Butler also will receive $5,000 and a Jets player visit this spring.  Additionally, there were four second-place schools who received a $1,000 prize:  Joseph J. Catena Elementary School in Freehold, Lafayette School in Bound Brook, Sumner Elementary School in Camden and Long Branch Middle School in Long Branch.  The Grand Prize school was Lakewood High School, which was presented with a $15,000 prize, a Jets player visit and a group from the school was honored on the field at a Jets’ home game last December.

As a professional football team that plays in New Jersey, the Jets take great pride in a long-standing, year-round commitment to our community. Programs funded by the New York Jets Foundation look to positively influence the future for countless young men and women in the tri-state area by promoting fitness and supporting youth football, particularly in disadvantaged communities.