FMI Foundation to Award $100,000 in Grants to Fund Healthy Eating Initiatives At Schools

Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Foundation awarded $100,000 to Fuel Up to Play 60’s (FUTP 60) Healthy Lifestyle Grant program in an effort to encourage students, and their adult program leaders, to engage supermarket health and wellness professionals as nutritional resources. The effort is in conjunction with FUTP 60’s online, national Playbook.

The grant money will enable schools to implement one of two new strategies that promote healthy eating or Healthy Eating Plays that are part of a school’s respective FUTP 60 Playbook including A Community Taste Test Event and Eating Healthy Snacks. Both initiatives include a hands-on visit to a local supermarket, under the guidance of the supermarket’s registered dietitian or its health and wellness professional.

“Today’s supermarkets have the knowledge and professional staff to create imaginative, healthy meals,” says Cathy Polley, RPh, FMI’s executive director of the FMI Foundation and vice president of the association’s health and wellness program. “Our data suggest that consumers are cooking more at home, so food retailers have the opportunity to encourage school-aged children to try a broader variety of healthy snacks and meals.1

The Healthy Lifestyle Grant is open to schools within the United States who participate in the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program and are enrolled in the National Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program for the 2012-13 school year. FUYP 60 is an in-school program founded by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture that empowers youth to take action to improve nutrition and physical activity at their school and for their own health.

As part of the Healthy Lifestyles Grant Program, schools may apply for up to $3,000 in funding to help implement a Healthy Eating Play, which includes a school visit to a local supermarket, and a corresponding Physical Activity Play, or an activity that encourages at least 60 minutes of fitness each day.  Eligible schools are encouraged to apply online for the 2012-2013 school year, with applications available until November 16, 2012.

Jean H. Ragalie, RD, president of National Dairy Council, the organization behind Fuel Up to Play 60’s regional efforts, said, “Our health is subject to economic influencers in addition to time constraints, so it is more important than ever to create an environment that makes eating healthy and staying active attainable within any type of budget in any school district.”

For more information on FUTP 60 or to enroll, students, parents and educators may visit www.FuelUpToPlay60.com or the Fuel Up to Play 60 Facebook page.

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