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Contact: Jeff Wolfe (609) 633-2954 or (609) 433-1785 Cell  

E-mail: jeff.wolfe@ag.state.nj.us

Pace Charter School In Hamilton Honored

(TRENTON) – New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher along with New York Jets offensive linemen Wesley Johnson and Brandon Shell today visited Pace Charter School of Hamilton to honor the school as the “Grand Champion” for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Jets PLAY 60 “Eat Right, Move More” program. 

 The Jets PLAY 60 “Eat Right, Move More” program, a partnership between the Jets, the Department of Agriculture, and the American Dairy Association North East, encourages New Jersey school children to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active. 

 “This partnership with the Jets has helped schools do more to provide healthy food choices for students and encourage them to get more exercise,” said Secretary Fisher. “We applaud Pace Charter School for going that extra mile to ensure that children have access to fresh fruits and vegetables and other nutritious foods as well as opportunities to move more.”

 Johnson and Shell visited the school for a fun and educational program and presented the school with a $15,000 grant to improve school food service and physical education programs, made possible by the Jets and the American Dairy Association North East.

“Prioritizing healthy foods and being active is so important for my daily routine to be successful on and off the field,” said Johnson. “The Jets and the Department of Agriculture have a great program to motivate schools and students to live healthier lifestyles.”

 Schools were judged on their outstanding efforts to provide children with fresh produce, healthy foods, nutrition education and opportunities to increase physical activity. They also were required to have at least 100 students participate in the Jets Play 60 Program during which students must log one hour a day of activity for a week.

 “The Pace Charter School community is beyond excited and honored to be the Grand Prize recipient of this year’s ‘Eat Right, Move More’ grant,” said Marisol DeWitt, office administrator. “This school year, Pace has made it a priority to get our students moving more and eating right with the launch of many innovative activities to engage not only students, but their families as well.”

Pace Charter School offers fresh fruits and vegetables with lunch as well as other times throughout the day as a healthy snack minimally three times a week. In addition, over 100 students participated in and completed the Jets Play 60 portion of the program.

“Parent volunteers have made it easier for us to offer a wide variety of new fruits and vegetables to our students,” DeWitt said. “Additionally, students are excited to ‘vote’ about the new items they try and take home recipes to share with their families. Our fitness clubs have become our most sought after club to attend and in May we will be hosting a Color Fun run event with our families, that has tripled in size from years past. We truly believe that encouraging our families to become a part of this process has been the key to our success!”      

 Pace plans on utilizing the award to purchase gym equipment, games, enhance its outside play area for students, and to purchase new cafeteria equipment, which allows the school the opportunity to continue to offer its students healthy food options on a regular basis.

 Three other “Division Champion” schools of the 2016-2017 New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Jets PLAY 60 “Eat Right, Move More” program were awarded $5,000 grants and a Jets program -- West New York School #2, Amerigo A. Anastasia Elementary and Linden High School.

 The New Jersey Department of Agriculture administers the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs, special milk and after-school snack, Summer Food Service Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program. Almost 700,000 children eat lunch at school every day in the Garden State.

 About the New York Jets

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 lives of young men and women in the tri-state area by promoting fitness, supporting youth football and preventing bullying, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

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 To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NJDeptofAgriculture and www.facebook.com/JerseyFreshOfficial or Twitter @NJDA1 and @JerseyFreshNJDA.