NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — On behalf of the National Football League and dairy farm families of North Carolina, the Carolina Panthers and The Dairy Alliance presented Craven County Schools with a $10,000 Hometown Grant.

The Hometown Grant, which the school system received Tuesday, will assist Craven County schools in making improvements to in-school nutrition and physical activities. The presentation was made during the monthly Craven County Board of Education work session meeting.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program and partnership of the National Football League and National Dairy Council. It is administered in North Carolina by The Dairy Alliance.

The Hometown Grant funds will be used to purchase additional refrigeration and transport equipment for food service to offer healthy meals and small sports equipment like weights, balls, and cones to engage students being active 60 minutes a day.

Craven County has focused on increasing meal participation among its student-athletes and encouraging all high school students to be more physically active. A sports nutrition-focused lesson plan was developed and shared with student-athlete focus groups. The School Nutrition Department developed a Protein Bento Box with protein-rich yogurts and cheeses. The Protein Bento Boxes are available to all students at lunch and as a grab-and-go meal for athletes’ game days.

“Providing our student-athletes with the right fuel for peak athletic performance is important to us,” School Nutrition Director for Craven County Schools, Lauren Weyand, said. “The power protein bento boxes provide them with that fuel. Making these bento boxes readily available to those students is as important.  So, thank you Fuel Up to Play 60 for making these funds possible to give students access to power protein bento boxes.”

Craven County stays on fire with Fuel Up To Play 60. Nine schools received $32,000 in FUTP60 grants in spring 2019 to support new and existing expanding breakfast programs at five elementary schools a middle school and 3 high schools.

Since the program began in 2009, the dairy farm families in the Carolinas have invested over $1 million dollars to support Fuel Up To Play 60 in their schools.

“This is a special relationship we have with the students through Fuel Up To Play 60. They are doing great work in Craven County Schools to get kids proper nutrition and physical activity” said NC dairy farmer Roddy Purser. “We’re proud to do our part providing milk to drink and encouraging kids to make healthy choices for their life.”

About The Dairy Alliance:

On behalf of dairy farm families, The Dairy Alliance, a non-profit, works with schools, health professionals, retailers, dairy processors, and the public to promote dairy foods. For more information, visit

About Fuel Up to Play 60:

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy Council (NDC), founded by America’s dairy farmers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. As a result of the program, 13 million students are making better food choices by selecting nutritious options like low-fat and fat-free dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Additionally, 16 million students are getting more physically active during the school day as a result of the program.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. Customizable and non-prescriptive program components are grounded in research, including tools and resources, in-school promotional materials, a website, and student contests. To learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60, visit: