181 Schools Awarded $604,883 by Midwest Dairy Council

Fuel Up to Play 60Midwest Dairy Council awarded $604,883 to 181 schools in Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and eastern Oklahoma, to support their Fuel Up to Play 60 initiatives.

Fuel Up to Play 60, a free in-school wellness program, is now in more than 70,000 schools nationwide.Schools across the country applied for the October and December 2011 rounds of funding to help them jumpstart and sustain nutrition and physical activity improvements. Local funding for Fuel Up to Play 60 – up to $4,000 per school year – is provided by the Midwest Dairy Council, on behalf of Midwest dairy farmers.

Awarded funds for Fuel Up to Play 60 provide support for a variety of activities and tools, such as foodservice materials and equipment, nutrition and physical education materials, student and staff incentives, staff development and overall Fuel Up to Play 60 implementation in an effort to champion school wellness. Additionally, funds also support expanding breakfast opportunities in schools. A few popular examples include grab-n-go breakfast and breakfast in the classroom. Launched by National Dairy Council, local dairy councils and the National Football League (NFL), in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Multiple health organizations and several major corporations are also supporting Fuel Up to Play 60, now in its third year. "Fuel Up to Play 60 is going strong in the Midwest with funding going to support both healthy eating and physical activity in schools," said Melissa Young, health and wellness director with Midwest Dairy Council. "Students in nearly 10,000 Midwest schools are helping their schools work toward healthy changes for the long term. These funds will help many of the participating schools do even more."

Fuel Up to Play 60 offers a wealth of additional tools and resources that can help students and adults implement the program. Several features have been added to the 2011-2012 program: new Plays (easy-to-implement activities that address healthy eating and physical activity), an enhanced training program and a local, state and national student ambassador program.

By giving students both a voice and a valuable role in shaping the future of their generation, National Dairy Council in collaboration with local dairy councils, the NFL and USDA are providing concrete opportunities for children to lead real change in the fight against childhood obesity. Aligned with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Fuel Up to Play 60 empowers students to engage their peers to "fuel up" with nutrient-rich foods they often lack – particularly low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains – and "get up and play" with 60 minutes of daily physical activity. The program can complement and enhance existing wellness initiatives or efforts with additional resources, tools, rewards and incentives for students, adult program advisors, other adult program supporters and the school.

Fuel Up to Play 60 taps the power of the NFL and its teams, players and physical activity programming to add recognition and value for students. National Dairy Council's trusted school relationships are crucial in sustaining the program. All 32 NFL teams are participating in Fuel Up to Play 60 through local dairy councils and schools in their respective markets.

Any U.S. school can enroll in the free program and thus be eligible to apply for Funds to help increase awareness of and access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity opportunities for students. Schools can learn more about eligibility requirements and find the Funds for Fuel Up to Play 60 application at FuelUpToPlay60.com. There are several application windows each school year, including upcoming deadlines on February 1, 2012 and June 1, 2012.

Midwest Dairy Council®, an affiliate of National Dairy Council, is the nutrition education division of Midwest Dairy Association. The Council is dedicated to dairy nutrition research and education through the investment of more than 11,000 dairy farm families across 10 Midwestern states, and is committed to child health and wellness through our collaborative program, Fuel Up to Play 60. For more information, visit www.midwestdairy.com. Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook at Midwest Dairy.

About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. Customizable and non-prescriptive program components are grounded in research and include tools and resources, in-school promotional materials, a website, youth challenges and rewards and funding opportunities. The program is designed to help prevent childhood obesity and help youth develop life-long healthy eating and daily physical activity habits. As part of the program, student teams work with adult leaders in each school to make kid-appealing, good-tasting, nutrient-rich foods more available. They also create opportunities for daily physical activity, such as noon walking clubs and after-school sports and dance clubs.

Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages kids to get involved and make changes that will help make their schools healthier places. The program reaches youth directly and engages their help in leading and inspiring their friends. The United States Department of Agriculture, NFL and National Dairy Council are partners in the program, and it is further supported by several health and nutrition organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetic Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.

About National Dairy Council
National Dairy Council® (NDC) is the nutrition research, education and communications arm of Dairy Management Inc™. On behalf of U.S. dairy farmers, NDC provides science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier society, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media. Established in 1915, NDC is dedicated to educating the public on the health benefits of consuming milk and milk products throughout a person's lifespan. For more information, visit www.nationaldairycouncil.org.

About NFL PLAY 60
Designed to help tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with partner organizations like the National Dairy Council. NFL's PLAY 60 is also implemented locally, as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. For more information, visit www.NFLRush.com. © 2011 NFL Properties LLC. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).