As excitement builds for Super Bowl LVII in February 2023, GENYOUth, the national non-profit organization founded by America’s dairy farmers and the NFL that creates healthier school communities, announced today a partnership with the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Dairy Council® of Arizona, and purpose-minded corporate sponsors including Fry’s Food Stores, Frito-Lay North America, The Quaker Oats Company and Frontdoors Media to kick off Mission 57: End Student Hunger, a community-based initiative that will equip schools in high-need communities with Grab and Go school meal equipment packages to tackle hunger among youth in Arizona.
Mission 57: End Student Hunger was launched at the Glendale Elementary School District Office in Glendale, Arizona with a celebratory student event featuring special appearances by former Arizona Cardinal and NFL Legend Drew Stanton, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Mascot Spike, school district and government officials including Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, and community leaders. Through the generous support of Fry’s Food Stores, the Glendale Elementary School District is receiving 11 Grab and Go meal equipment packages to increase access to and participation in the school meal program. These systems include a breakfast/meal cart, a milk cooler, and an NFL FLAG-In-School kit. In total, Mission 57: End Student Hunger will benefit 57 schools throughout Arizona in the coming months and will increase access to over 8.5 million school meals for over 31,000 Arizona students each school year.
GENYOUth’s Grab and Go school meal equipment packages have proven to be a game-changer in helping schools grow school meal participation. Of all the steps schools can take toward creating healthier, higher achieving students, implementing school breakfast is perhaps the simplest and most cost effective, with very possibly the most direct impact. Breakfast is linked with numerous health and educational benefits including improved academic performance, student behavior, school attendance, and nutrition intake, while also addressing hunger.
“School meals are a lifeline and critical for students’ nutrition security, well-being, and learning. But the statistics underscore that child hunger is at a crisis stage in Arizona, exacerbated by a 10.9% annual food inflation rate that is making it harder than ever for families to afford meals,” said Ann Marie Krautheim, M.A., R.D., L.D., CEO of GENYOUth. “September is Hunger Action Month and there is no better time to underscore the urgent need for action to nourish hungry children and elevate the important role that school meals play, especially school breakfast.”
- 84% of Arizona students qualify for free/reduced price school meals based on household income.*
- In Arizona, only 55% of students who qualify for free/reduced price school meals participate in school breakfast.*
- Arizona ranks in the bottom half – 29th out of 51 states – in school breakfast participation.*
Added Krautheim, “Through the generous support of our partners like Fry’s Food Stores, Mission 57 will help End Student Hunger in Arizona. The only hunger a child should experience is the hunger to learn!”
“We are excited to be introducing new Grab and Go meal equipment in our schools to help provide access to healthy school meals which will enhance our students’ ability to learn and thrive in the classroom,” said Cindy Segotta-Jones, Superintendent of Glendale Elementary School District. “A nutritious start to the day is critical to student success. I would like to thank GENYOUth, Fry’s Food Stores, the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, and the Dairy Council of Arizona for their commitment to ending student hunger in Arizona.”
In the coming months, GENYOUth with support from additional sponsors including Frito-Lay and The Quaker Oats Company will provide Mission 57: End Student Hunger grants for meal equipment packages to be donated to schools throughout Arizona to increase access to and participation in nutritious school breakfast and throughout the school day. Multiple school events will be held in Arizona communities leading up to Super Bowl LVII and its premier purpose-driven culinary event, Taste of the NFL, on Saturday, February 11, 2023, of which GENYOUth is the charitable partner. Proceeds raised from Taste of the NFL will benefit schools across Arizona and the nation — the 2022 Taste of the NFL event held in Los Angeles generated $1.5 million in revenue, which supported over 600 school nutrition program grants nationwide to increase access to and participation in school meal programs.
“Mission 57: End Student Hunger is a crucial part of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee’s goal of driving lasting social and economic impact across our local communities,” said Jay Parry, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. “We are proud to be partnering with GENYOUth in tackling food insecurity and delivering the equipment and resources Arizona schools need to help their students succeed all year long. Students’ health and well-being is a top priority not just today, but every day.”
As a leader in the fight against hunger in Arizona for the past 60 years, Fry’s has provided more than 55 million meals in the past five years to families fighting food insecurity in Arizona as part of Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste.
“Fry’s is excited to partner with GENYOUth on Mission 57: End Student Hunger to tackle food insecurity in Arizona,” said Monica Garnes, President of Fry’s Food Stores. “We want students to be able to focus on their studies rather than be distracted by hunger. This donation will help provide additional access to nutritious school meals for thousands of local students helping to ensure no student goes hungry.”
“Mission 57: End Student Hunger reflects the deep commitment of Arizona dairy farmers to the health and well-being of Arizona’s children. Students need healthy meals and nourishment to thrive, and we are proud to collaborate with GENYOUth and other partners to ensure all students have access to nutritious dairy products as part of their school meals,” said Tammy Baker, General Manager, Dairy Council of Arizona.
“I am proud to be supporting Mission 57: End Student Hunger in Arizona and participating in today’s school event in Glendale,” said former Arizona Cardinal and NFL Legend Drew Stanton. “My role as a professional football player and father has helped shape my view on the critical role that school nutrition plays in the lives of students. We must all do our part to ensure students have ready access to and can participate in school meal and physical activity programs.”