January is a long, cold month, and the COVID pandemic has made it even more difficult with students remote learning and stuck inside. School leaders in East Orange, New Jersey, brightened the days of 143 families this week when they held a pizza kit distribution at Benjamin Banneker Academy.
“After several months of virtual learning due to the pandemic, parents and students at Benjamin Banneker Academy were super excited to get dressed up in their favorite NFL attire to attend the Fuel Up to Play 60 and Pizza Kit promotional event. The Sodexo team, principal, superintendent and students were all energized and eagerly anticipating this festive, yet socially distanced event to promote health and wellness overall,” explained Yolanda Shivers, East Orange School Nutrition Director.
In total, 429 meals were served at a site that does not usually have meal service, but that wasn’t all! Students were also given Fuel Up to Play 60 physical education kits to help them get active while learning remotely.
East Orange School District was the recipient of the New York Giants NFL Hometown Grant this year, a $10,000 grant that they used to purchase meal packaging equipment. That equipment helped them to set up the to-go pizza kits for this event. The NFL, through Fuel Up to Play 60, will provide $10,000 per NFL team ($320,000 total) in grant money to help school districts and/or individual schools facilitate sustainable physical activity and healthy eating improvements.