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HUNTERDON COUNTY SCHOOL HONORED FOR NUTRITION PROGRAM DURING NEW YORK JETS GAME
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(EAST RUTHERFORD) – Five Hunterdon Central Regional High School students, the school’s food service director, food service company president and district Business Administrator were honored Sunday by the New York Jets and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture during the Jets/Cleveland Browns football game at the Meadowlands.
Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington won the Eat Right, Move More contest, which challenged New Jersey schools to submit their meal menus to determine the six schools with the most creative meal selections and that have made the most significant changes to improve their school nutrition environment.
“Hunterdon Central Regional High School has placed great emphasis on offering nutritious foods to their students, making physical activity a priority and educating students about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus. “We appreciate the New York Jets’ help in recognizing Hunterdon Central and other schools for their efforts to improve nutrition and increase activity.”
Representing the Department at the Jets game was Arleen Ramos-Szatmary, of the Division of Food and Nutrition.
Hunterdon Central Regional High School was randomly selected to be honored at the December 9th game from among the six winning schools in the Eat Right, Move More contest. Four of the other schools -- Rittenberg Middle School in Egg Harbor City, Northfield Elementary in Northfield, Cecil S. Collins Elementary in Barnegat Township and Halsted Middle School in Newton -- will receive a visit from a Jets player next spring in recognition of their commitment to good nutrition. Port Reading School #9 in Woodbridge was visited by offensive tackles D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Adrien Clarke on November 27 www.nj.gov/agriculture/news/press/2007/approved/press071127.html.
“We are proud of the lunch program and nutritional selections that we offer in our school and wanted to share them with the state,” said Scott Mirsky, the school’s food service director. “Being chosen to attend the Jets game shows our commitment to good nutrition and exercise. Our exercising and activity programs at the school are big factors in fighting childhood obesity.”
Lunch selections at Hunterdon Central include a salad bar, grilled chicken Caesar, low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, whole wheat pizza, and low sodium lunch meat and cheeses. All entrees are baked, not fried and anything that is fried is done so in trans fat-free oil. The school also offers wellness programs for students and families, including a recent healthy eating presentation, “Eating in a Fast Food World.”
Mirsky, Mark Vidovich, President of Pomptonian Food Service, Raymond Krov, district business administrator and students Sean Egan, Michael Francavilla, Brendan and Sean Myers and Michael Natale were treated to a VIP reception at the stadium and then brought down onto the field to watch pre-game warm-ups. The group was videotaped while on the field and that tape honoring the school for its nutrition program achievements was played during the second quarter of the game on the stadium jumbo-tron. The teenagers were selected to attend the game through a lottery.
Michael Francavilla of Flemington, a high school senior and lifelong Jets fan, said last school year students noticed some sugary drinks and fatty snacks were missing from the lunch line, replaced by cheeseburgers on whole wheat buns and healthier snacks.
“Since we had junk food the first two years of high school, we missed it more than the younger kids,” said Francavilla. “But, the kids are hungry, so they buy the healthier foods anyway. They’ve gotten used to it.”
The Eat Right, Move More campaign, urges Garden State students to eat the healthy foods in school that adhere to the state’s new school nutrition policy. All school districts in the state have implemented the most comprehensive policy in the nation, which covers pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students and limits fat and sugar content in foods offered in a la carte lines, snack bars and vending machines, school stores and as part of on-campus fund-raisers.
The campaign features posters of the Jets D’Brickashaw Ferguson in every school telling students, “When I have a healthy meal, it helps me play my best. Your school cafeteria has a variety of nutritious foods to keep you going all day long. So get up, eat right and move more!”
As a professional football team that plays in New Jersey, the Jets regularly promote youth health, fitness, and education, particularly in disadvantaged communities. Over the past seven years, the Jets and their charitable foundation have donated or raised millions of dollars to promote youth health, fitness, and education.
For more information on the state’s school nutrition policy, visit: www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/fn/childadult/school_model.html.