The New Jersey Department of Agriculture and New York Jets linebacker Aaron Maybin will honor Mercer High School in Hamilton Township this Friday for being one of the winning schools in the 2011-2012 “Eat Right, Move More” contest. 

The Jets regularly promote youth health, fitness, and education, particularly in disadvantaged communities. Offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson has been the spokesman for the “Eat Right, Move More” campaign since its inception in 2006.

The program, which is a partnership between the Jets, the Department of Agriculture and the American Dairy Association & Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign, encourages New Jersey school children to take advantage of healthy foods in their school cafeterias and become more active. The Department of Agriculture’s school nutrition policy is thought by many to be the most comprehensive in the nation and covers pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students.  The policy limits fat and sugar content in foods offered in a la carte lines, snack bars and vending machines, school stores and as part of on-campus fund-raisers.

This year there was an emphasis on selecting the schools that have made changes in their menus to include more fresh fruits and vegetables; a greater variety of vegetables, such as dark green and orange vegetables, and legumes; and more whole grains. Additionally, school lunch and breakfast menus were reviewed and schools had to show strong support and demonstrate efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity among their students. Mercer High School was one of five winning schools.