The FNS Fuel Up Team: Milton Lashus, Michael Sabin, Shamil Mohammed, John Magnarelli, Abhijit Potdar, Sam Depina, Dale Feeney, Jermaine Wiggins, Michael Peck, Billy Grubbs, and Nancy Fisher.

The BPS Department of Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) is honored to receive a second Fuel Up to Play 60 grant in the amount of $94,000 for 2012.  This grant award has been made to support efforts to increase breakfast participation in 32 schools across the district, and was announced March 9th at the McCormack Middle School with a program launch.

National studies consistently confirm that school breakfast improves classroom performance; increase children’s ability to focus and concentrate on school work; decreases behavior problems, tardiness and visits to the school nurse; and increases attendance rate, facts echoed by McCormack Principal, Michael Sabin, in his address on Friday.

McCormack Principal, Michael Sabin, and NE Dairy Council Representative, Sheri Doucette, chat before the event + the grant award.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program of the National Dairy Council and the National Football League, in collaboration with the USDA. The goal is to make changes at school that will help students “get active and play” for at least 60 minutes each day and “fuel up” with nutrient-rich foods such as low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Strawberry & banana smoothie samples!

McCormack Middle School Student enjoying a smoothie.

In 2011, through the first Fuel Up to Play 60 Wellness Program, BPS expanded breakfast service to include breakfast in the classroom, grab ‘n go breakfast, and new healthy menu items such as smoothies and fruit-yogurt parfaits. As a result of these efforts, student participation in breakfast increased by an average of 38% across the 47 schools involved in the program last year.  FNS is looking forward to expanding this program in 2012, continuing these important breakfast initiatives, and capitalizing on its partnership with the New England Dairy & Food Council.