By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Coborn’s Inc., an employee owned business, granted $2,000 to five Morrison County Schools to promote healthy food and life choices by students. The schools benefiting from the grants are Lindbergh Elementary, Lincoln Elementary and Little Falls Community Middle School, all in Little Falls; Dr. S.G. Knight Elementary School in Randall; and Holy Trinity Catholic School in Pierz.
The student-run program promotes changes using the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, available to all schools across the United States. The program is available through a joint partnership with Coborn’s, Midwest Dairy and the Minnesota Vikings. It empowers youth to take action to improve nutrition and physical activity at their school and for their own health.
The goal is to ensure any changes made at the schools are sustainable, making it possible for children to have more opportunities to be physically active and choose tasty, nutrient-rich foods which include low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
The program was developed by students for students. The Fuel Up to Play 60 program has an interactive website, fueluptoplay60.com, which offers everything from healthy eating tips to physical fitness challenges.
“Coborn’s is proud to partner with the Midwest Dairy Council and the Minnesota Vikings to promote healthy eating and at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day,” said Little Falls Coborn’s Manager Greg Zylka. “Because good nutrition is central to learning and developing healthy eating habits, the Fuel Up to Play 60 program aligns perfectly with Coborn’s goal of promoting health and wellness for all.”
Holy Trinity Catholic School Principal Deb Meyer-Myrum said she would be using her school’s $2,000 to take a field trip to Coborn’s in Little Falls. The school will host a nutritious snack table one a week for the month of April. From a survey, the school will learn which snacks are the favorites and add them to the lunch menu. Also in April, the school will have a family fitness challenge where participants will play frisbee golf using sets purchased with a portion of the grant.
Superintendent of Little Falls Schools Stephen Jones said the funds his schools received will be used to purchase utensils and equipment for the kitchens. Storage containers, fruit peelers, onion slicers, steam table pans and more will enable workers to more efficiently process the fresh garden produce from the Garden-to-Cafeteria project.
“The funding will also address physical activity initiatives through the purchase of incentives like water bottles, tee shirts, cinch sacks, etc.,” he said. “This will encourage students to participate in a number of activities aimed at encouraging daily exercise outside of the school hours, increasing the amount of time that students are physically active each day. A number of these initiatives have already begun in our schools. This grant helps the schools augment and grow these healthy initiatives.
“We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have four of our schools earn the Fuel Up to Play 60 grants,” said Jones. “We are grateful to Coborn’s for its sponsorship of this program and its recognition of the truly innovative initiatives centered on health and wellness that are in play at Little Falls Community Schools. These dollars generously provided by Coborn’s will positively impact countless children and families in our district.”