Fuel Up to Play 60 – the nation’s leading in-school wellness program, founded by dairy farmers and the National Football League (NFL) – is teaming up with Chelan Fresh to increase access to more nutritious foods in schools, including dairy.
Chelan Fresh, one of Washington state’s largest suppliers of apples and pears and the nation’s largest provider of fresh cherries, will provide 10 portable breakfast/salad bar carts to nine Fuel Up to Play 60 schools in Florida, Virginia and Washington. The carts will reach more than 9,000 students, serving an estimated 1.1 million meals annually. An estimated 1.3 million meals already are being served in other schools because of similar partnership efforts last year.
“This is another great example of how the checkoff works with influential partners to combine resources and address common goals, such as childhood nutrition,” said Pennsylvania dairy farmer Marilyn Hershey, who serves as chair of Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff. “It’s very rewarding to see us come together again and help fuel kids with good nutrition so they can perform their best.”
The rolling carts will provide solutions for school nutrition and meal service teams with the opportunity to position them in areas where students have easy access to nutritious foods. The carts feature cooling trays, which reduce the need for ice and keep milk and other foods cool.
Chelan Fresh has supported Fuel Up to Play 60 for eight consecutive years, reinforcing the companies’ ongoing commitment to help K-12 schools improve or expand their nutrition and physical activity programs. The company has provided more than $750,000 in funding and in-kind resources in that time.
“As one of the original supporters of the Fuel Up to Play 60 team, Chelan Fresh has been a leader in the produce industry, ensuring that kids continue to choose nutritious food items at school and at home,” Chelan Fresh director of marketing Mac Riggan said.
National Dairy Council president Jean Ragalie-Carr added, “On behalf of National Dairy Council, dairy farmers and the dairy community, we’re thankful to continue our long-standing relationship with Chelan Fresh and their growers and to have their support in nourishing schools and communities through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.”
The joint effort will provide more students across the country with access to nutritious meals in a convenient, on-the-go setting, providing the nourishment students need to help fuel greatness, Raglie Carr said.