While hunger and limited access to healthy foods have unfortunately been a struggle for many students and families, the negative impact of COVID-19 brought a new level of adversity to these challenges in 2020.
The Los Angeles Chargers, in partnership with the America Dairy Farmers, awarded Compton Unified School District with $10,000 in funding to expand student health and wellness through the Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) program. The $10,000 'Hometown Grant' was awarded during a special virtual school assembly for McKinley Elementary where students learned about the importance of fueling up with healthy foods and getting 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
"We are excited about the Los Angeles Chargers and Fuel Up to Play 60's commitment to students within Compton Unified School District," said Compton Unified Superintendent Darin Brawley. "Their generous donation will enhance and support our efforts to ensure Compton scholars at McKinley Elementary are able to enjoy the nutritional and educational benefits associated with increased access to healthy meals and physical activity on a regular basis. In a district such as ours where 94% of our students qualify for free/reduced priced lunch, partnerships such as this, to increase nutrition and physical activity for students are vital."
The 'Hometown Grant' means students at McKinley Elementary will join the 14 million students who are eating healthier, 18 million students who are being more active, and 130,000 adults who are enrolled and empowering youth in the United States through one national program – Fuel Up to Play 60.
"America's dairy farmers are dedicated to helping to build healthier kids and communities because we know that kids who eat well and are physically active do better in school and in life," said Alyssa McClelland, Fuel Up to Play 60 manager in CA. "This partnership with the Chargers helps to bring much needed resources into deserving school districts like Compton USD to support their wellness goals – we're excited to see what they will do."
Developed by FUTP 60 and the National Football League, the 'Hometown Grant' program provides teams and farmer funded dairy organizations the opportunity to identify deserving schools and school districts and provide them with funding to help meet their health and wellness goals. Each of the 32 NFL Clubs are partnering with FUTP 60 and local dairy representatives to provide $10,000 grants in communities throughout the country totaling a $320,000 investment in youth health and wellness.
"Knowledge is power, and teaching kids how important it is to eat right, exercise and take care of their bodies will help them develop healthy habits that they can carry with them throughout their lives," said Chargers President-Business Operations A.G. Spanos. "The Los Angeles Chargers are proud to support the Compton Unified School District and partner with Fuel Up to Play 60 to stress the importance of getting 60 minutes of physical activity a day and provide kids a roadmap for how to lead a healthy life."
Past local school districts to receive the Chargers' FUTP60 Hometown Grant include the neighboring Lennox School District and Inglewood Unified School District.
Created in partnership by the NFL and National Dairy Council, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fuel Up to Play 60 is the nation's largest in-school wellness program creating real transformational change in more than 73,000 schools nationwide. The national in-school nutrition and physical-activity program is activated in California by the state's more than 1,300 dairy farm families. Since fall 2014, FUTP 60 has helped to award more than $700,000 in equipment and grants to schools throughout California in support of their wellness goals.