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School Wins NJDA, Jets, Dairy Council Eat Right, Move More Contest

or Immediate Release: May 18, 2012
Contact: Lynne Richmond 
(609) 633-2954

(WEST ORANGE) – New York Jets offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson along with New Jersey Department of Agriculture representatives today honored Thomas A. Edison Central Six Middle School in West Orange for winning the Eat Right, Move More contest.

Five winners were chosen in the 2011-2012 Eat Right, Move More program, a partnership between the Jets, the Department of Agriculture and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign.  The program encourages students to eat more of the healthy offerings in their cafeteria and increase the amount of exercise they get each day. 

“Thomas A. Edison Central Six Middle School not only does a good job in providing a wide variety of healthy food choices for its students, but also puts together creative menus of foods the students actually eat,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher.  “We are proud to honor the school as one of this year’s Eat Right, Move More winners.”

The Eat Right, Move More program is in its sixth year.  This year, the winning schools were chosen that have made changes in their menus reflecting more fresh fruits and vegetables; a greater variety of vegetables, such as dark green and orange vegetables and legumes; and more whole grains.  Also, school lunch and breakfast menus were reviewed and the schools had to show strong support and demonstrate efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity among their students.

“I continue to be impressed by the creativity and dedication that schools are demonstrating in the Eat Right Move More program,” said Ferguson. “As always I am excited to get out to schools, like Thomas A. Edison, to congratulate everyone here in person on their accomplishments.”

Photo of School Superintendent Cavanna and D'Brickashaw Ferguson
West Orange Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Cavanna draws a name to win a football autographed by D'Brickashaw Ferguson during the Eat Right, Move More program.

Ferguson is the spokesman for Eat Right, Move More, a campaign featuring posters of Ferguson in every school telling students, “Eating healthy meals helps me play my best.  Your school cafeteria has a variety of nutritious foods to keep you going all day long.  So let’s get up and Eat Right and Move More!”

Edison Middle School houses 478 sixth grade students.  A salad bar with fresh fruits and vegetables is available to students every day.  Whole wheat/whole grain products and more whole foods rather than processed are being used.  Assistant Principal Steven Melendez said they have noticed changes in the students’ food choices.

“Students are more aware of the importance of eating a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables, eating whole grains and drinking milk,” said Melendez.  “Students make a conscious effort to include these items during breakfast and lunchtime meals.”

The school recently implemented a breakfast grab and go program, allowing students to purchase a balanced hot or cold breakfast to eat during their first period.  A Family Fit Night was held with food tastings involving healthy snacks and family dinner meal options.  The creation of a school and community garden is underway. And, after school sports are offered from 3 to 3:30 p.m. each day.

In addition to Edison Middle School, other Eat Right, Move More schools include grand prize winner Lillian M. Steen School in Bogota, which was awarded a $5,000 kitchen makeover grant and Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood; Mercer High School in Hamilton Township; and Linden High School in Linden.

The New York Jets take great pride in a long-standing, year-round commitment to our community. Programs funded by the New York Jets Foundation touch the lives of countless young men and women in the tri-state area by promoting fitness, health, and education, particularly in disadvantaged communities. Over the past twelve years, the Jets and their charitable foundation have contributed more than $12 million to a wide range of community-based causes.

From fighting childhood obesity through the Eat Right, Move More initiative, to launching a football team at an urban high school, to urging students to be active for at least 60 minutes every day the New York Jets invest in programs that make a difference in the lives of others. In addition to our focus on youth development, the Jets support the efforts of the Alliance for Lupus Research, numerous established charitable organizations and causes sponsored by the NFL.

The Department of Agriculture’s comprehensive school nutrition policy covers pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students.  The policy limits fat and sugar content in foods offered in a la carte lines, snack bars and vending machines, school stores and as part of on-campus fund-raisers.

More than 687,000 students in both public and private schools participate in the National School Lunch Program, administered by the Department of Agriculture.

For more information about the Department’s school nutrition programs, visit