DALLAS, Texas— Former Cowboys tight end and three-time Super Bowl champ Jay Novacek along with Cowboys mascot Rowdy joined representatives from Dallas Independent School District and Dairy MAX Thursday in kicking off the Fuel Up to Play 60 Summer Food Service Program.
Intended to address the critical issue of childhood hunger when school is not in session, the program, which is federally funded by the USDA, provides nearly 1,100 healthy meals per day to Dallas youth 18 years and younger for free. With this year's addition of the Fuel Up to Play 60-branded food truck along with Fuel Up to Play 60 posters, yard signs and prizes, it is the hope that more of Dallas ISD's students—more than 80% of whom qualify for the in-school free and reduced meal plan—will be made aware of the program and incentivized to participate.
"We are excited to add fun elements to our Summer Food Program with Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Dallas Cowboys," said Dora Rivers, executive director of child nutrition services at Dallas ISD. "This will greatly help to increase awareness of our summer meal locations, where all children are welcome to participate."
Thursday's event at Crawford Memorial Park in Dallas marked the first meal served of the 2013 program. Novacek joined the children in snacking on a healthy sandwich, fruit and milk before taking to the field for a Fuel Up to Play 60 obstacle course.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is part of the Cowboys' and NFL's Play 60 campaign aimed at tackling childhood obesity by encouraging kids to eat nutritiously and be active at least 60 minutes each day. Created by the NFL and the National Dairy Council, in collaboration with the USDA, the program includes grant opportunities for schools, a Playbook with strategies for healthy eating and physical activity, a student ambassador program and more.