NFL player & Nashua native Kendall Reyes joins Dr. Crisp Elementary School to kick off the “It Starts With School Breakfast” campaign.

Mar. 14, 2014
Published by NH Kids Count

Nashua, NH – Fuel Up to Play 60—the nation’s largest in-school wellness program—along with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and Dean Foods, launched the It Starts With School Breakfast campaign in New Hampshire with a celebration at Dr. Crisp Elementary School in Nashua. The campaign will increase school breakfast awareness and participation across the country so that all kids start each day with the fuel they need to help them succeed.

San Diego Chargers Tight End and Nashua Native Kendall Reyes hosted the assembly and spoke with students about the many benefits of eating breakfast at school.

Local advocates began promoting the importance of school breakfast and program participation last October, launching the“New Hampshire School Breakfast Challenge.”  The New Hampshire School Breakfast Challenge team including New Hampshire Kids Count, New England Dairy & Food Council, School Nutrition Association of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Department of Education also joined the celebration to demonstrate their support of increasing school breakfast participation across the state.

“School breakfast is one of the most important things we can offer our students,” said Jane Quigley, principal of Dr. Crisp Elementary School. “It is our duty as school leaders to make sure our students have access to healthy foods at school throughout the day. School breakfast is essential to a child’s ability to learn. It’s a tool for success just like books, homework, and class time.”

Research demonstrates that good nutrition, including daily breakfast, and increased physical activity can lead to improved academic performance[i], but according to one study, more than 60 percent of students do not eat breakfast each day.[ii] Many kids are showing up to school hungry, and hungry kids may not be able to succeed in the classroom.

“Consuming a healthy school breakfast helps students establish positive eating habits that contribute to a lifetime of overall better health,” said Patricia Dombroski, interim administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service Northeast Region, USDA.  “Research shows that serving students fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meats improves academic performance, decreases visits to the nurse and positively impacts classroom behavior.”

Dean Foods is lending support to this campaign by contributing $100,000 in grant money to fund breakfast initiatives at Fuel Up to Play 60 schools across the country. Garelick Farms, part of the Dean Foods family of brands, is helping to support this exciting campaign in schools and at retail throughout New England.

Created in partnership by the National Football League and National Dairy Council, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Fuel Up to Play 60 creates real transformational change in more than 73,000 schools, including more than 370 in New Hampshire. The program empowers students to drive change and work closely with educators to find creative ways to make their school a healthier place. Using funds provided by Fuel Up to Play 60, schools across New Hampshire are implementing new ways to encourage students to eat breakfast, and as a result, more students are showing up to school for their first meal of the day.

Kendall Reyes’ appearance was scheduled by National Football League Players Inc., the exclusive licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association.

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