Community Support Fuels Student Athletes’ Competitive Edge

Being a Phoenix athlete means rising to the challenge of juggling many demands: workouts, practices, travel to competitions, and social and family time. For softball player Hailey Heckenlaible, it was not always possible to pack a whole days’ worth of meals and snacks.

Festival Foods has come to the rescue of UW-Green Bay’s athletes. Recognizing the unique nutritional needs students have while training to compete at their highest level, the grocery chain has partnered with Green Bay Athletics to create the Festival Foods Fueling station at the Kress Events Center on the Green Bay campus. Funding comes from Festival’s significant to the University’s Ignite the Future campaign.

“Personally, the convenience of the fueling station has lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. I am never stressing over buying the right foods or not having enough time to eat before, after and in-between games and practices,” says Heckenlaible, a junior from East Bethel, Minn.

Student receive food from UW-Green Bay Fueling Station
UW-Green Bay athletes get a boost and the energy they need to perform at a high level at UW-Green Bay’s Fueling Station, serving student athletes.

“I really like how the Fueling Station has fresh options such as apples and bananas, and more supplemental products like protein bars and shakes. It not only caters to the different cravings that we have, but to our different nutritional needs.”

The first-of-its-kind partnership for Phoenix Athletics looks to enhancing the student-athlete experience and competitive excellence. The Fueling Station is located in the main concourse area of the Kress Events Center and serves as a one-stop shop for all student-athlete nutritional needs, allowing them to quickly grab food to help balance time demands as well as provide nutrition education regarding recovery and performance.

“We’re honored to support the student-athletes of UW-Green Bay with the Festival Foods Fueling Station,” said Mark Skogen, Festival Foods president, and CEO. “As a company, we are deeply committed to making a positive difference in our communities, and this is the perfect opportunity for us to show our commitment to the student-athletes of UW-Green Bay.”

Fueling station food selection
Recognizing the unique nutritional needs students have while training to compete at their highest level, Festival Foods has partnered with UW-Green Bay Athletics to provide the Fueling Station, serving student athletes.

Athletics Director Josh Moon said collaboration and strong partners in Festival Foods, Prevea Health, and the University’s Dietetics program brought the vision for the Fueling Station to life.

As Chair of the Masters of Nutrition and Integrated Health program, Dr. Debra Pearson oversees dietetics students who provide education and operational leadership of the station.

“Dietetics students provide evidence-based food and nutrition recommendations to meet the fueling needs of student-athletes,” Pearson said. “The opportunity for students to gain practical experience in sports nutrition while working with a Division I Athletics program really sets our dietetics program apart from others.”

Before having access to the Fueling Station, Heckenlaible says, “I would often go to class directly from a two-hour practice without eating a meal or snack. As an athlete, it is important to fuel your body periodically throughout the day, and without the fueling station, it was difficult to make that a priority.”

As softball coach, Sarah Kubuske says the Fueling Station eases her mind knowing that athletes have the food they need. “It gives me one less thing to worry about knowing that we can provide this perk for them and takes one additional thing off their plate.”

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