School health and wellness program Fuel Up to Play 60 will launch "Fuel Greatness" to grow awareness about the importance of school breakfast to students and school leaders, the group said Wednesday.
The effort aims to elevate the conversation around good nutrition and physical activity with a focus on increasing participation and access to breakfast – including dairy – to ensure students begin their day with the fuel they need.
Fuel Greatness is being done during National School Breakfast Week (March 2-6) and will include nationwide school events conducted by local dairy checkoff staffs.
Fuel Up to Play 60 was founded by dairy farmers through the checkoff, and the NFL and in collaboration with the USDA.
More than 2 million more students participating in the program are eating breakfast since 2010. Average daily participation at breakfast increased during this time from 23% to 27% among Fuel Up to Play 60 schools.
"Starting the day off right by eating breakfast with nutritious foods such as dairy is crucial for students, but we know that many are not eating this important meal," said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy farmer and chair of Dairy Management Inc, "Fuel Greatness helps remind all of us about the importance of breakfast to students' success."
Research shows that improved nutrition, including daily breakfast, and increased physical activity can lead to improved academic performance. Eating breakfast at school can help kids be more attentive, behave better and achieve higher test scores, but millions of kids are skipping it.
No Kid Hungry's annual "Hunger in Our Schools" report identified that 76% of educators say students come to school hungry.
The Food Research and Action Center's School Breakfast Scorecard noted that 13.2 million children ate school breakfast during the 2013-14 school year. While participation is increasing, traditional breakfast programs often encounter challenges such as scheduling restrictions and cafeteria capacity.
Fuel Up to Play 60 plays a key role in helping schools improve or expand their breakfast programs by placing an emphasis on alternative options. Schools can apply for funds that can be used to purchase items such as coolers, carts, insulated bags or Grab and Go kiosks.
Visit fueluptoplay60.com to learn more.