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Photo of Jets Quarterback Greg McElroy signing a program in Brick Township - Click to enlarge
Midstreams School Winner in NJDA, Jets, Dairy Council Eat Right, Move More Program
For Immediate Release: May 1, 2013
Contact: Lynne Richmond 
(609) 633-2954

(BRICK TOWNSHIP) – The New Jersey Department of Agriculture representatives and New York Jets Quarterback Greg McElroy today took part in an informative and fun nutrition education program at Midstreams School in Brick Township – the school’s prize for being one of the past year’s winners of the Eat Right, Move More contest.

The program is a partnership between the Department of Agriculture, the New York Jets and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign, which encourages New Jersey school children to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active.  This year, the emphasis was on schools that offer breakfast in the classroom.  Additionally, school meal menus were reviewed and the schools had to show strong support and demonstrate efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity among their students.

“The Eat Right, Move More program encourages and rewards schools for reaching higher when it comes to nutrition and exercise initiatives for students,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher.  “We are very proud of Midstreams School for its achievements and commitment to making breakfast available to more students on a daily basis.”

Photo of Greg McElroy speaking at Midstreams School
NY Jets Greg McElroy speaks during the program, with Karen Krawczun from the NJ Department of Agriculture and Jesse Linder of the Jets looking on.

Earlier this year, Secretary Fisher and New Jersey Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf urged schools around the state to offer the federally-funded school breakfast after the start of the school day, ensuring them it could be considered instructional time.  Since then, many more schools have adopted the program.

“It’s an honor to be here today to recognize the Midstreams School,” said McElroy. “The commitment this school and its students have to this program is impressive and I applaud their efforts.”

Breakfast in the classroom was implemented at Midstreams School and throughout the Brick Township elementary schools last year.  Prior to then, about 20 students ate breakfast each day at Midstreams School.  Last year, that increased to 100 students – a 400 percent increase.  Breakfast participation increased 70 percent in the elementary schools as a whole.  Teachers have reported that students arrive to their class on time, are attentive and there is less disruption in instructional time than they originally thought.

“Good nutrition is absolutely important to our school,” said school principal Dr. John Billen.  “We have healthy habits that the students have learned to employ on a daily basis.  We take pride in the health of our students and feel we are a model school in this aspect.”

One of Dr. Billen’s top priorities when he became principal last year was to initiate a Health and Wellness Fair every spring.  Health professionals from the community set up booths to provide hands on experience and knowledge about various aspects of healthy living.  Included in these are interactive presentations where students can taste healthy smoothies, get their blood pressure taken or  talk with a chiropractor or a massage therapist. Healthy activities are provided for the students including a free trial of Zumba, yoga and other interactive healthy activities. 

Billen said more than one-third of Midstreams students walk to school.  The school has participated in the New Jersey Safe Routes to Schools Program that promotes walking to school.  And, on the first day of each month, they sponsor a Walk to School Day in which students get prizes for walking to school.  In addition, there are lunchtime programs, including the “Recharge” program or mileage club.

The Eat Right, Move More grand prize winner was West New York PS #4, which received a $5,000 kitchen makeover grant and was honored on the field during a Jets game.  The other winning schools that received visits from Jets players were:  William B. Cruise School #11 in Passaic; George L. Hess Educational Complex in Hamilton; and Paterson School No. 2.

This is the seventh year of the Eat Right, Move More Program, with Jets Offensive Tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson as spokesman.  The campaign features posters of Ferguson in every school telling students, “Your school cafeteria offers a variety of healthy foods and low-fat milk to keep you going all day long.  Fuel your mind and body with nutritious foods like Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables.  So, let’s get up and Eat Right, Move More!”

The New York Jets take great pride in a long-standing, year-round commitment to our community. Programs funded by the New York Jets Foundation touch the lives of countless young men and women in the tri-state area by promoting fitness, health, and education, particularly in disadvantaged communities. Over the past twelve years, the Jets and their charitable foundation have contributed more than $12 million to a wide range of community-based causes.

From fighting childhood obesity through the Eat Right, Move More initiative, to launching a football team at an urban high school, to urging students to be active for at least 60 minutes every day the New York Jets invest in programs that make a difference in the lives of others. In addition to our focus on youth development, the Jets support the efforts of the Alliance for Lupus Research, numerous established charitable organizations and causes sponsored by the NFL.

The Department of Agriculture’s comprehensive school nutrition policy covers pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students.  The policy 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.  More than 687,000 students in both public and private schools participate in the National School Lunch Program, administered by the Department of Agriculture.

For more information about the Department’s school nutrition programs, visit