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Atlanta Falcons Award $10,000 Hometown Grant to Cherokee County Schools

Posted On: Tuesday, October 25, 2022


From left, Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Owen, Executive Director of School Nutrition and Procurement Tina Farmer, Chief Operations Officer Dr. Debra Murdock, Dairy Council Manager of Youth Wellness Will McWhirter, Freddie Falcon, Falcons Offensive Lineman Chris Lindstrom and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower. 

On behalf of the National Football League (NFL) and dairy farm families of Georgia, the Atlanta Falcons and The Dairy Alliance presented the Cherokee County School District (CCSD) School Nutrition program with a $10,000 Hometown Grant today (Oct. 25). The Hometown Grant will enable the department to expand its smoothies menu items to more schools, and a portion of the funds also will go toward supporting CCSD’s girls flag football programs.

The check presentation and celebration were made in the Cherokee HS gym during 7th period physical education classes. Falcons offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom joined PE students in the event along with Falcons mascot, Freddie Falcon, and two of the Falcons cheerleaders. Members of Cherokee High School’s girls flag football, tackle football, cheer squad, and band also participated.

“The Hometown Grant will enable us to offer more of our students freshly prepared smoothies made with milk, yogurt, and fruit,” Tina Farmer, executive director of CCSD School Nutrition, said.

Ms. Farmer added that her team has increased students’ dairy consumption by providing smoothies, with great success and student acceptance, at a growing number of schools during meal service over the past couple of years.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is a school nutrition and physical activity program in partnership with the National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy Council. It was founded by America’s dairy farmers in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Administered in Georgia by The Dairy Alliance, the Hometown Grant funds will be used to purchase immersion stick blenders and buckets for a number of CCSD’s cafeterias to prepare fresh smoothies made with milk, yogurt, and fruits and vegetables.

"The Dairy Alliance and Fuel Up To Play 60 have been key partners for the CCSD’s School Nutrition program,” Ms. Farmer said, adding that her team is focused on increasing meal participation among students. “They provide our students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes dairy, encourage schools to make healthy changes in students’ eating habits, and offer activities for students to have fun while engaging in physical activity.”

Tonya Sebring, CCSD’s supervisor of student activities and athletics, said the grant will greatly benefit student athletes as well.

“Although varsity flag football is well established and competitive in our district, our high schools now want to expand their programs to include sub varsity teams,” she said.  “We hope to field a junior varsity team in all six of our high schools over the course of the next two years. The grant money will help provide additional training equipment for our programs as participation numbers continue to grow.”

Cherokee County, GA has been involved with the Fuel Up To Play 60 program for over 10 years. Eleven schools have received over $41,000 in FUTP60 grant funds since 2010 to support new and existing breakfast and lunch programs. Since the program began in 2009, dairy farm families in Georgia have invested over $1 million dollars to support Fuel Up To Play 60.  #CCSDfam  #dairyinschools


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