MINNEAPOLIS, July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 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."
Applicants will be notified by Sept. 5, 2014, if their school's application has been approved or declined. More information about the Fuel Up™ Breakfast Grant program will be available at the booths of General Mills Foodservice (#749) or National Dairy Council® (#349) during the SNA's conference. Complete details and an application can also be found online at http://school.fueluptoplay60.com/funding#breakfastgrant.
About General Mills Convenience & Foodservice
The General Mills Convenience & Foodservice division serves the convenience, foodservice and bakery industries by providing quality products from time-trusted brands along with culinary, nutrition education and marketing resources to help operators succeed. Its distinguished brand portfolio includes Big G Cereals, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Gold Medal, Pillsbury, Chex Mix, Bugles, and Gardetto's. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, the division generates $2 billion in annual sales.
About Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy Council (NDC), which was founded by America's dairy farmers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-dense foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. 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 with youth, including tools and resources, in-school promotional materials, a website and student challenges. Fuel Up to Play 60 is further supported by several health and nutrition organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association/Foundation, 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), the non-profit organization funded by the national dairy checkoff program, is committed to nutrition education and research-based communications. NDC provides science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier nation, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media. Established in 1915, NDC comprises a staff of registered dietitians and nutrition research and communications experts across the country. NDC has taken a leadership role in promoting child health and wellness through programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60. Developed by NDC and the National Football League (NFL), Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. 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 PLAY 60 is also implemented locally, as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. For more information, visit NFLRush.com.
 2013-14 Fuel Up Breakfast Grant Summary, National Dairy Council, 2/28/14
SOURCE General Mills Foodservice