Dairy farmers give 41 ID-UT schools wellness grants

Dairy West awards funding for Fuel Up to Play 60 schools

Dairy West is giving 41 schools in Idaho and Utah grants to support their Fuel Up to Play 60 initiatives. Hundreds of schools from across the country applied for funding to help them jumpstart and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements. Grants awarded this funding period totaled $135,353.

The list of recipients includes 39 Idaho schools:

* Bickel Elementary School (Twin Falls School District)
* Castleford School (Castleford School District)
* Central Elementary School (Sugar-Salem Joint School District)
* Crossroads Middle School (West Ada School District)
* Declo Junior High School (Cassia School District)
* Discovery Elementary School (West Ada School District)
* Eagle Rock Junior High School (Idaho Falls School District)
* Falcon Ridge Charter School (Idaho Department of Education)
* Filer High School (Filer School District)
* Frontier Elementary School (West Ada School District)
* Galileo STEM Academy (West Ada School District)
* Gooding High School (Gooding School District)
* Heritage Middle School (West Ada School District)
* Hillsdale Elementary School (West Ada School District)
* Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy (Orofino School District)
* Jefferson Elementary School (Jefferson School District)
* Kershaw Intermediate School (Sugar-Salem Joint School District)
* Kootenai Elementary School (Lake Pend Oreille School District)
* Lake Hazel Elementary School (West Ada School District)
* Lincoln Elementary School (Madison School District)
* Lindy Ross Elementary School (Clark School District)

* Mary McPherson Elementary School (West Ada School District)
* Meridian Academy (West Ada School District)
* Paris Elementary School (Bear Lake School District)
* Ponderosa Elementary School (West Ada School District)
* Popplewell Elementary School (Buhl Joint School District)
* Richfield School (Richfield School District)
* Rigby Senior High School (Jefferson County Joint School District)
* Ririe High School (Ririe Joint School District)
* Sawtooth Middle School (West Ada School District)
* Shoshone Middle/High School (Shoshone School District)
* Siena Elementary School (West Ada School District)
* St. Edwards Catholic School (Twin Falls private school)
* Taylor’s Crossing Public Charter School (Idaho Falls)
* Troy Elementary School (Troy School District)
* Vera C. O’Leary Middle School (Twin Falls School District)
* Victory Middle School (West Ada School District)
* White Pine Elementary School (Boise School District)
* Willow Creek Elementary School (West Ada School District)

Dairy West awarded Fuel Up to Play 60 grants to two Utah schools this
funding cycle:

* Orem Elementary School (Alpine School District)
* Sage Creek Elementary (Nebo School District)

The organization would like to get more Utah schools involved in the program, according to Dairy West’s vice president of health and wellness, Heidi Martin. “Qualified K-12 schools enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 are eligible for up to $4,000 in grant funds per year to help them jumpstart healthy changes in their schools,” Martin said. “Over the years Dairy West and our predecessors, the Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada and United Dairymen of Idaho, have awarded more than $1 million in grants to Idaho schools since Fuel Up to Play 60’s inception in 2010, so it’s definitely worthwhile for schools to consider implementing the program.”

Martin said the application deadline for the next round of funding — Nov. 7 — is rapidly approaching so interested schools need to act quickly. To qualify for funding, schools must enroll in Fuel Up to Play 60, have a registered program advisor, and participate in the National School Lunch Program. Visit https://www.fueluptoplay60.com/funding/general-information to begin enrolling.

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.

  According to Jared Sorenson, a teacher and the FUTP 60 program advisor at Vera C. O’Leary Middle School in Twin Falls, students attending the program’s national ambassador summit in Georgia this summer embody the traits that growing up on his grandparent’s farm in rural Utah instilled in him.

“One of the most rewarding experiences for me was being able to receive direction and council from a diverse group of people — Olympians, current and former NFL players, successful business people, dairy farmers, political figures, and the FUTP 60 staff,” Sorenson says. “Meeting Washington’s Alex Smith, whom I have followed since his college days at the University of Utah, was a highlight. I know that these unique opportunities had a profound impact on everyone in attendance. And as a varsity coach in Idaho, I truly understand the importance of building upon the foundation the Fuel Up to Play 60 program has laid at O’Leary Middle School. The program has a bright future here.”

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, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association. Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.


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. Visit NFLRush.com for more information.

USDA has made significant and transformative investments in the lives of Americans living, working and raising families in the United States. In the area of nutrition, since 2009, USDA has made significant progress in maximizing the ability of our nutrition programs to fight hunger and improve health, while also ensuring that benefits are delivered efficiently and with integrity. USDA’s implementation of the historic, bipartisan Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 has led to more than 98 percent of schools meeting updated, science-based nutrition standards for school meals, as well as ensuring that more than 50 million children have access to a healthier school food environment. Visit USDA.gov for more information.

The National Dairy Council(r) is the nutrition research, education and communications arm of Dairy Management Inc(tm). 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. Visit NationalDairyCouncil.org for more information.

Dairy West is a regional dairy promotion organization established in 2017 to represent dairy farmers, processors, and supply chain partners in Idaho and Utah. A Qualified Program regulated by the USDA National Dairy Promotion & Research Board, the 501(c)(6) organization raises awareness of the importance of dairy farming, promotes the health and nutritional benefits of dairy foods, and encourages global demand for Western U.S. dairy foods through coordinated marketing and communications efforts, nutrition counseling, and research programs. Visit DairyWest.com for more details.

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