September 30, 2020 , 11:15 am

Students get Money to have Fresg Vegetables & Fruits in Reading Elementary School

The Reading School District’s 13 elementary schools were among more than 230 schools across Pennsylvania to receive grants to provide students with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Reading's Northwest Elementary School webstock

The $7 million in funding was provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. The grants were allocated by the state Department of Education.

“Over the past several years Pennsylvania has strengthened its approach to student nutrition, and throughout the commonwealth’s response to COVID-19 there has been intense focus on students’ access to food,” state Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said. “School meals are integral to student health, and these fresh food grants help our school communities provide nutritious food to fuel our students’ growth academically and physically.”

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program aims to create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices, expanding the variety of fruits and vegetables students experience, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and positively impacting students’ present and future health. The program got its start in Pennsylvania in 2004, and by 2008 had expanded to all 50 states.

The grants are focused on schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. Those schools that get grants are required to spend the majority of it on purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables and must develop a plan to establish partnerships to reduce other costs.

Schools are also required to provide nutrition education to students, but cannot use the grant money to purchase nutrition education materials.

Tags
education materials
Fresh Fruit
healthier food
meals
nutrition
school environments

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