Kortz: Several local schools awarded grants for fresh fruits and vegetables

HARRISBURG, July 17 – Approximately $158,000 in funds have been awarded to six elementary schools in the 38th Legislative District through a federal grant program to provide students with fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day, state Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, announced today.

The funding is awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. The program’s goal is to expand the variety of fruits and vegetables in schools by increasing consumption among students with the hope of positively impacting their present and future health.

“Studies have shown, time and again, that when children eat healthy, it benefits their overall well-being, and they’re better prepared to learn,” Kortz said. “The USDA’s Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program also helps our schools address food insecurity and provides an opportunity for youngsters to make healthier food choices.”

The following schools (and corresponding school districts) that received funds through the program include:

  • Francis McClure Elementary School (McKeesport Area School District) – $38,525.
  • Twin Rivers Elementary School (McKeesport Area School District) – $45,022.50.
  • South Allegheny Elementary School (South Allegheny School District) – $32,142.50.
  • Clara Barton Elementary School (West Mifflin School District) – $13,340.
  • Homeville Elementary School (West Mifflin School District) – $19,377.50.
  • New Emerson Elementary School (West Mifflin School District) – $9,947.50.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program began in Pennsylvania in 2004 and is now in every state. Schools must have a free and reduced meal eligibility of 50 percent or more in order to qualify for the grants.