PHOTO: New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher and New York Jets kicker Nick Folk today honored Lakewood High School in Lakewood, NJ as this year’s grand prize winner in the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Jets PLAY 60 “Eat Right, Move More” program.
Secretary Fisher and Folk treated 150 students at the school to a fun program and presented the school with a $15,000 prize to be used for kitchen updates and physical education equipment, made possible by the Jets, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council, Inc.
“Lakewood High School students are benefitting from the administration’s commitment to providing highly nutritional options in the school cafeteria as well as encouraging physical fitness both during and after school,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “They consistently strive to get more fruits and vegetables in students’ diets, which is vital to good health. We are proud to honor Lakewood High School for all its achievements.”
The Jets PLAY 60 Eat Right, Move More program, a collaboration between the Jets, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council, Inc., encourages New Jersey school children to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active.
To win, schools had to show they offer healthier snacks and have 100 students or more participate in the Jets PLAY 60 Challenge, where students logged at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for four weeks. Additionally, school lunch and breakfast menus were reviewed and the schools had to show strong support and demonstrate efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity among their students.
“It truly is an honor to present Lakewood High School with this grant for $15,000,” said Jets kicker Nick Folk. “The staff and student commitment to both fitness and nutrition embody what we look to recognize with this program. They are an example for the entire state.”
School Food Service Director Armida Caldwell said the school’s more than 1,000 students are offered an unlimited amount of fruits and vegetables at lunch. They serve only 100 percent whole grains, use reduced sodium in their offerings and cook from scratch as often as possible. Fresh fruits are offered at breakfast and they creatively incorporate legumes into meals. Principal Marcy Marshall said they plan to spend the prize money on two fresh fruit and vegetable kiosks or carts as well as elliptical machines, stationary bicycles, free weights and resistance devices.
“The focus of Lakewood High School is on fostering a positive climate and culture,” said Marshall. “Getting this award has added to this. It helps promote all positive things that are going on at the school.”
The school demonstrated that it is adhering to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Smart Snacks requirement by serving only whole grain snack choices and low-calorie beverages and 100 percent fruit juices. They promote wellness in their health classes and culinary classes emphasize fresh produce and complete meals. During physical education classes, a broad range of activities with high impact are offered and students may participate in intramural sports, open gym and use the weight room after dismissal. Their pep rally days are sports-related.
Marshall said the PLAY 60 component of the contest forced their students to constantly focus on the activities they perform during the day and helped them realize they get more physical activity than they thought.
First and second-prize winners will be announced in the spring and will receive player programs. The deadline to apply for the NJDA’s Jets PLAY 60 Eat Right, Move More program is January 16. To apply, go to www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/fn/pdf/eatrightmovemoreappl.pdf.
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 future for countless young men and women in the tri-state area by promoting fitness and supporting youth football, particularly in disadvantaged communities.