EASTHAMPTON, MA — Breakfast is the meal of champions, and no one can illustrate that better to a group of schoolchildren than Pat Patriot, who visited White Brook Middle School on Wednesday.
The New England Patriots mascot joined school leaders and representatives from the New England Food and Dairy Council in presenting students with new recess equipment and a breakfast cart to encourage more kids to eat healthy foods on their way into school.
The school bought the items with a $3,319 grant awarded by Fuel Up to Play 60, a three-way partnership between the National Football League, the National Dairy Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We had talked about it in the wellness committee, ways to encourage healthy eating and physical activity,” said Superintendent Nancy Follansbee. “And this really supports both of those initiatives.”
Until now, students at the school lacked equipment to use during recess. Early Wednesday morning students put the new items — including soccer balls, kickballs, hula hoops and jump ropes — to swift use in a frenzy of excitement.
“Pat gets the kids excited,” said Ally Gallop, a spokesperson for the New England Food and Dairy Council, watching as Pat threw one of the new footballs back and forth with one beaming student. “We want to celebrate eating well and being active.”