LINDEN – New York Jets defensive end Mike DeVito and Muhammad Wilkerson along with New Jersey Department of Agriculture representatives today presented Linden High School in Linden with a program for winning the Eat Right, Move More contest.
Five winners were chosen in the 2011-2012 Eat Right, Move More program, a partnership between the Jets, the Department of Agriculture and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign. The program encourages students to eat more of the healthy offerings in their cafeteria and increase the amount of exercise they get each day.
“Linden High School not only does a good job in providing a wide variety of healthy food choices for its students, but also puts together creative menus of foods the students actually eat,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “We are proud to honor the school as one of this year’s Eat Right, Move More winners.”
The Eat Right, Move More program is in its sixth year. This year, the winning schools were chosen that have made changes in their menus reflecting more fresh fruits and vegetables; a greater variety of vegetables, such as dark green and orange vegetables and legumes; and more whole grains. Also, 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.
“Coming back to visit my high school is one thing,” said Wilkerson, a Linden High School graduate. “Being here to honor them for this important achievement is even better. I am excited for and proud of Linden High School.”
“I am really impressed with Linden High School,” said DeVito. “It’s not easy to eat well, stay fit and do well in school and I’m happy to be here today to honor the school for its accomplishments.”
Offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson serves as spokesman for Eat Right, Move More. The campaign features posters of Ferguson in every school telling students, “Eating healthy meals helps me play my best. Your school cafeteria has a variety of nutritious foods to keep you going all day long. So let’s get up and Eat Right and Move More!”
The 1,750 ninth through twelfth-grade students at Linden High School have been getting more fresh choices in their school meals. Food Service Director Ralph English said they have a farm stand with fresh fruits and vegetables and, in turn, the students have been eating more produce.
“It is important to help the students make better choices in and out of school,” said school Principal Danny Robertozzi. “They were very excited about the players’ visit.”
In the cafeteria, the school has had some special promotions, including a fresh pasta machine, sushi station and a traveling chef program. The school also runs physical fitness programs.
In addition to Linden High School, other Eat Right, Move More schools include grand prize winner Lillian M. Steen School in Bogota, which was awarded a $5,000 kitchen makeover grant and Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood; Mercer High School in Hamilton Township; and Thomas Edison Central Six Middle School in West Orange.
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.
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