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Carolina Panthers Award $10,000 in Grants to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Middle Schools

Students compete by pitching healthy eating and physical activity plans 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               

 The Dairy Alliance

[email protected]


CHARLOTTE, N.C. MARCH 30– The National Football League (NFL) and dairy farm families of North Carolina, the Carolina Panthers and The Dairy Alliance are pleased to announce the winners from their “shark tank-style” event on March 30. Four Charlotte-Mecklenburg Middle Schools were awarded $10,000 grants to make improvements to their school nutrition and physical activity programs. The grant winners of the Mission Possible: Fuel Up to Play 60 finals are as follows:

$5,000 Champion - Francis Bradley Middle School, Debra Gresham Program Advisor

$3,000 1st Runner-up - McClintock Middle School, Gracynn Johnson Program Advisor

$2,000 2nd Runner-up - Mint Hill Middle School, Kimberly Williams Program Advisor

$1,000 3rd Runner-up - Northeast Middle School, Jennifer Hamilton Program Advisor

The Mission Possible contest asked students to identify areas of improvement to school nutrition and physical activity programs along with how to implement these changes. Student teams from McClintock, Bradley, Mint Hill and Northeast Middle Schools pitched their ideas to the judges’ panel, who included CMS Officials and Carolina Panthers Director of Community Relations. The judges asked questions and used scoring criteria to determine prize winners. Carolina Panthers Kicker Graham Gano presented the grant prizes to the student teams.

The $1,000 3rd Runner-up prize was a spontaneous donation from Panthers Charities. All four participating teams will receive a Love Your Lunchroom prize kit to makeover their school cafeteria with the Carolina Panthers Fuel Up to Play 60 logo, valued at $3,000.

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

Doris Shivers with the Grant Innovation Team at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools stated, “We’re very grateful for the resources from Fuel Up to Play 60 to make healthier eating and the right amount of activity a reality for our students.”

Since the program began in 2009, the dairy farm families in the Carolinas have invested over $1 million 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 Charlotte to get kids proper nutrition and physical activity” said local dairy farmer Jackie Lowman. “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 organization, 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 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

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