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Curtis Lofton participated in Fuel Up to Play 60 event with SUDIA

By Connor Tarter

Linebacker Curtis Lofton visited Pierre A. Capdau Charter School on Oct. 14 as a part of Southeast Dairy Association’s Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign. Photos by Connor Tarter. New Orleans Saints photos.

New Orleans Saints linebacker Curtis Lofton visited Pierre A. Capdau Charter School on Oct. 14 as a part of Southeast Dairy Association's Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign.

Lofton spoke to a large group of students in the school's cafeteria, stressing the importance of an active lifestyle and a balanced diet.

In a question and answer session with the school's student council, Lofton admitted that when traveling, eating healthy becomes difficult, but that he plans ahead and packs healthy snacks beforehand for him to eat in the airport.

"My biggest challenge for healthy living is when I travel. When you're in the airport, when you travel, there's all kinds of stuff, like Cinnabon, Sonic, Popeye's, and they don't really have too many healthy choices," Lofton said. "I have to prepare by packing health bars or an apple or something I can eat when I can't eat like I want to when I'm at my house."

Lofton also highlighted the importance of teamwork and a collective positive attitude among his teammates, and how the same philosophy translates to the classroom.

"In a classroom, on a football field, it's all about teamwork. And it does get tough, and what you lean on is your leadership. You have leaders throughout the classroom and it's tough when some guys aren't giving 100%, but what it is, when you have one guy giving 100%, then you get two, then you get three…before you know it, you've got everybody on there," Lofton said. "t has to be a collective effort to push everyone to get better. That's what it's all about. Once you do that, that's when you get a solid team and that's when you begin to do great things."

The NFL Play 60 campaign is designed to tackle childhood obesity by getting kids active through in school, afterschool and team-based programs. The Southeast Dairy Association and the Saints work together to help make wellness part of the game plan in Louisiana schools through the Play 60 campaign/Fuel Up to Play 60.  The program encourages schools to make healthy changes in students' eating habits and physical activity.

The NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 – Hometown Grant program, focuses on priority school districts in the Louisiana market. The NFL has committed $10,000 to Fuel Up to Play 60 to improve access to healthy eating and physical activity in local schools.

Many schools lack the resources to execute school wellness and this is why the Southeast Dairy Association, on behalf of dairy farmer families, is proud to support schools in the fight for healthier kids with the opportunities for Fuel Up to Play 60 schools to write for grants to kick-off or enhance their wellness plan in their schools.

The funds from the Hometown Grants can be utilized by the receiving schools in many ways to optimize healthy eating and physical activity based on local needs and interests. This could range from vending machine wraps to support smart snacking, improving school breakfasts and summer feeding programs to physical activity equipment.

Additionally, Southeast Dairy Association launched Fuel Up to Play 60's fall campaign, "For the Love of Play". During September 9 – October 17, educators and students will be encouraged to work together to select and implement a 'Physical Activity Play'. Educators are asked to encourage students to log in and report their activity in the 'Report Campaign' tile on their student dashboard to enter their school for a chance to win the "For the Love of Play Sweepstakes" mega prize pack and gift cards.

Pierre A. Capdau Charter School – New Beginnings School Foundation has been chosen to host this years' Fuel Up to Play 60 fall campaign, "For the Love of Play" and celebrate the announcement of the Hometown Grant.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council, the Southeast Dairy Association and the NFL. It's all about getting students to 'Fuel Up' with nutrient-rich foods missing from their diets, like low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains and to 'get-up and play' for 60 minutes a day.  New research shows that better nutrition starting with breakfast, coupled with increased physical activity can lead to better academic achievement.

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