MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its focus on 'Fun, Fuel, and Fundamentals,' the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund announced today that it will provide Fuel Up to Play 60 Breakfast-in-the-Classroom grants – a Super School Breakfast – to 52 communities across the state over the 52 weeks leading up to Super Bowl LII. In partnership with Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Midwest Dairy Council, the MNSBHC will provide the equipment and infrastructure costs necessary for schools to provide an enhanced breakfast program for students, ensuring kids kick off their day with a nutritious Super School Breakfast.
The announcement was made at Bethune Elementary School in Minneapolis, in conjunction with this year's Vikings' Hometown Grant. The annual NFL Foundation project allows the Vikings, in collaboration with Midwest Dairy Council, to provide $10,000 to local school districts through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program to help implement health and wellness changes. In celebration of Minnesota's Super Bowl year, the MNSBHC will make the Vikings' Fuel Up to Play 60 outreach program 'Super' by turning the annual grants into a year-long program leading up to the Big Game. Today, to kick off the effort, Viktor the Viking helped present Bethune with new breakfast coolers for their Super School Breakfast in the classroom program.
Studies have shown that a healthy breakfast 'fuels up' improved cognitive function, and that student math and reading scores improved when breakfast is moved into the classroom. Students who participate in school breakfast also show improved attendance, behavior, and decreased tardiness. But today in Minnesota, the Food Action Research Council (FRAC) reports that more than 140,000 students who are eligible for free and reduced school meals take advantage of lunch, but not breakfast programs; the report also notes that Minnesota currently ranks 44th out of 50 states in offering school breakfast. The Super School Breakfast will provide the equipment and infrastructure costs for selected communities to choose between a breakfast on the go or breakfast in the classroom program in school. Studies have further shown that allowing students to take breakfast to their class increases participation by reducing the time pressures on students to get to class and removing the stigma associated with students reporting to the cafeteria to receive a free or reduced meal.
Super School Breakfast is a Super Bowl year expansion of Fuel Up to Play 60's successful Breakfast in the Classroom grants. Since 2010, more than $300,000 has been provided by the state's dairy farm families to Minnesota schools to support breakfast programs and as a result more than 211,000 students have access to and enjoy breakfast at school.
Fifty-two weeks of breakfast grants will kick off just after Super Bowl LI, to be played in Houston on February 5, 2017. The giving will continue weekly in communities across Minnesota, reflecting that the entire state will play host to the game in 2018.
"The Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund is focused on what powers healthy kids – fun, fuel, and fundamentals," said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships for the MNSBHC. "A healthy breakfast is the fuel that all kids need to be ready to learn and to kick off a healthy and active day. Super School Breakfast is just one way that the Super Bowl is leaving a positive and lasting impact on the lives of Minnesota's kids."
"GENYOUth, with Midwest Dairy Council and the Minnesota Vikings have made an impact in helping to generate healthier schools and students in Minnesota through our flagship program Fuel Up to Play 60 – but our work is not done," said Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth. "The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee's Legacy Fund mission to help every Minnesota child build lifelong healthy habits. The Super School Breakfast initiative is a best-in-class embodiment of creating a lasting legacy supporting healthy kids and healthy schools in Minnesota."
"The Midwest dairy farmers supporting this program want to help reverse the decline in healthy student statistics in Minnesota and win back our position as the healthiest state in the nation, and that's why we are fully on board in this effort," said Lucas Lentsch, CEO of the Midwest Dairy Council. "Recent surveys rank Minnesota as 4th in the nation in healthy kids – down from our previous position on top of the list."
The Super School Breakfasts are just one way the MNSBHC will give back to the community over 52 weeks leading up to Super Bowl LII. More announcements about charitable giving and community investments will be made throughout 2017, all helping to make Minnesota's Super Bowl a truly statewide event. The 52 week countdown starts the day after Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas – February 6, 2017 - and continues through February 4, 2018, when Super Bowl LII is played in U.S. Bank Stadium.
More information on the MNSBHC's Legacy program, including an introductory video, can be found at www.mnsuperbowl.com/legacy. The MNSBHC Legacy Fund's Super School Breakfast initiative is funded by the NFL Foundation, the General Mills Foundation, and the Minnesota Vikings.
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, non-profit corporation formed to plan and execute Super Bowl LII. For more information visit www.mnsuperbowl.com and follow @mnsuperbowl2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
About Midwest Dairy Council Midwest Dairy Council is a non-profit organization funded by dairy farmers and works on their behalf to increase dairy sales, foster innovation and inspire consumer confidence in dairy products and practices. Midwest Dairy is funded by checkoff dollars from dairy farmers in a 10-state region, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. 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 an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy Council (NDC), founded by America's dairy farmers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. As a result of the program, 13 million students are making better food choices by selecting nutritious options like low-fat and fat-free dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Additionally, 16 million students are getting more physically active during the school day as a result of the program.
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, including tools and resources, in-school promotional materials, a website and student contests. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.
About GENYOUth GENYOUth empowers students to create a healthier future for themselves and their peers by convening a network of private and public partners to raise funds for youth wellness initiatives that bolster healthy, high-achieving students, schools and communities nationwide. We believe that all students are change-agents, who deserve the opportunity to identify and lead innovative solutions that positively impact nutrition, physical activity, and student success. For more information about GENYOUth, visit: www.genyouthnow.org.
Andrea Mokros, Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee