General Mills Foodservice and National Dairy Council are partnering once again to help K-12 schools expand their breakfast programs by offering Fuel Up Breakfast Grants. The official call for entries kicks off today at the School Nutrition Association’s 68th Annual National Conference in Boston, which brings together thousands of school nutrition professionals to learn about the latest products and solutions to help them build participation among students.
This is the sixth consecutive year General Mills has worked with National Dairy Council to offer Fuel Up Breakfast Grants to schools within the United States that participate in the National School Breakfast Program and are enrolled in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is the nation’s largest in-school health and wellness program created by National Dairy Council and the National Football League in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It empowers youth to take action to improve nutrition and physical activity at school and for their own health. Currently, the program is in more than 73,000 schools nationwide and more than 11 million students are actively engaged.
“General Mills is proud to support the Fuel Up Breakfast program which has helped schools nationwide give students a healthy start to their day with a nutritious breakfast,” said Alyca Judge, K-12 senior marketing manager, General Mills Foodservice. “As more schools seek to grow breakfast participation in the new school year, we hope they will take advantage of the grant dollars to help them implement their plans.”
Since 2009, General Mills Foodservice has awarded $375,000 in Fuel Up Breakfast Grants to more than 130 schools and has helped to improve student access to nutritious foods such as low-fat and fat-free dairy products, whole grain cereals and fruit. In past years, the majority of grant recipients have used the funds to expand programs that serve students breakfast outside of the cafeteria through breakfast in the classroom, grab-and-go breakfast from a cart or a second chance breakfast after the first class period.
Applications are currently being accepted through Aug. 29, 2014. A total of $50,000 in foodservice equipment is available to eligible schools for the upcoming school year. Schools applying for a Fuel Up grant must have support from the school principal, district school nutrition director and school nutrition manager, school enrollment of at least 500, breakfast participation level less than 40 percent and demonstrate an opportunity to raise breakfast participation.
Last year, grants were awarded to 29 schools nationwide reaching 23,500 students. Results indicate an average increase of 71 percent more students participating in breakfast from the programs funded with grant dollars. Additionally the schools that received grants reported significantly more dairy and whole grains served during the breakfast grant period.
“Together we can make a difference. Schools cannot act alone to create a healthier environment, the broader community must work together to support and affect change for children’s health,” said Jean Ragalie-Carr, president of National Dairy Council. “That is why we are honored to have such a solid relationship with General Mills Foodservice. The Fuel Up Breakfast Grants program allows us to continue to bring nutritious breakfast options to the school environment and provide students with the resources they need to make healthy choices.”