ROSEMONT, Ill. – Fuel Up to Play 60 – the nation’s leading in-school wellness program founded by dairy farmers and the NFL – is teaming with Chelan Fresh to increase access to more nutritious foods in schools, including dairy.
Chelan Fresh, one of Washington state’s largest suppliers of apples and pears and the nation’s largest provider of fresh cherries, will provide 10 portable breakfast/salad bar carts to nine Fuel Up to Play 60 schools in Florida, Virginia and Washington.
More than 13 million students in the U.S. come from food insecure households that lack the means to provide enough nutritious food on a regular basis[i]. The carts are an innovative solution that will reach more than 9,000 students, serving an estimated 1.1 million meals annually. An estimated 1.3 million meals already are being served in other schools because of similar partnership efforts last year.
Finding ways to serve nutritious options in schools, including dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can help students reach their full potential.
“This is another great example of how the checkoff works with influential partners to combine resources and address common goals, such as childhood nutrition,” said Pennsylvania dairy farmer Marilyn Hershey, who serves as chair of Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff. “It’s very rewarding to see us come together again and help fuel kids with good nutrition so they can perform their best.”
The rolling carts will provide solutions for school nutrition and meal service teams with the opportunity to position them in areas where students have easy access to nutritious foods[ii]. The carts feature cooling trays reduces the need for ice and keeps milk and other foods cool.
Chelan Fresh has supported Fuel Up to Play 60 for eight consecutive years, reinforcing the companies’ ongoing commitment to help K-12 schools improve or expand their nutrition and physical activity programs. The company has provided more than $750,000 in funding and in-kind resources in that time.
“As one of the original supporters of the Fuel Up to Play 60 team, Chelan Fresh has been a leader in the produce industry ensuring that kids continue to choose nutritious food items at school and at home,” said Mac Riggan, director of marketing at Chelan Fresh.
National Dairy Council President Jean Ragalie-Carr adds: “On behalf of National Dairy Council, dairy farmers and the dairy community, we’re thankful to continue our longstanding relationship with Chelan Fresh and their growers, and to have their support in nourishing schools and communities through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
“The joint effort from Chelan Fresh and Fuel Up to Play 60 will provide more students across the country with access to nutritious meals in a convenient, on-the-go setting, providing them the nourishment that students need to help fuel greatness.”
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy Council (NDC), which was founded by America’s dairy farmers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 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. The program additionally 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. As a result of the program, 14 million students are making better food choices and 18 million are more physically active. 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 Association/Foundation, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.
About Chelan Fresh
Chelan Fresh is a fruit marketing company representing over 300 family
owned farms who are committed to growing premium apples, pears, cherries and
several stone fruit varieties for demanding domestic and international
markets. Our fruit is grown in Central Washington
where ample sunshine, gentle mountain slopes, fertile valleys and cool crisp
air combine with the waters of the mighty Columbia River for ideal growing
[i] No Kid Hungry, https://www.nokidhungry.org/who-we-are/hunger-facts.
[ii] Food Research & Action Center, School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large Districts; http://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/school-breakfast-large-school-districts-sy-2015-2016.pdf.