To help raise awareness about the important role school breakfast plays children’s lives, Maryland and New York dairy farmers joined American Dairy Association North East and National Football League (NFL) players at two schools during National School Breakfast Week.
Belle Dallam from Bloom’s Broom Dairy in Bel Air, Md., visited Belmont Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., with Baltimore Ravens player Morgan Moses. Eric Ooms from A Ooms & Sons Dairy in Valatie, N.Y., and New York Giants player Matt Breida, were at Forts Ferry Elementary School in Latham, N.Y.
Both farmers gathered with local school officials to highlight successful school breakfast programs and alternative breakfast serving models like “Breakfast in the Classroom” and “Grab and Go” breakfasts, that are proven to increase meal participation and help increase milk sales.
Additionally, ADA North East’s menu enhancement programs like “Just Say Cheese,” “Yogurt All Ways” offer new cheese and yogurt recipes that schools can incorporate into meals. When schools adopt these programs, sales of nutritious dairy products also receive a boost.
“We are continually building relationships within school nutrition networks to protect milk’s place in school meals,” said ADA North East CEO John Chrisman. “Offering programs like ‘Breakfast After the Bell’ ensure that more students have access to more meals, which ultimately translates to more milk and dairy sold – so everyone wins!”
Dallam and Ooms agreed that dairy farmers have a long history of commitment of providing a stable food supply and feeding families which can help prevent childhood hunger, a real issue in many communities.
“School meals with dairy are part of that hunger solution,” said Dallam.
Ooms added, “Kids shouldn’t be worrying about what or when they’re going to eat.”
According to the Food Research and Action Center, school breakfast is linked to improved test scores and academic achievement, and has also been known to reduce tardiness, discipline issues, and food insecurity.
The NFL players are available to join ADA North East because of dairy checkoff’s national partnership with the league through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
For more information on ADA North East school nutrition programs and Fuel Up to Play 60, visit AmericanDairy.com, and click on “For Schools.”