Sainato: Nearly $100,000 in grants will bring fresh fruits and vegetables to New Castle area schools

NEW CASTLE, July 16 – New Castle area students will see more fresh fruits and vegetables on the menu thanks to $99,072 in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced. 

Sainato said the grants will help enhance performance while introducing healthy habits.

“I’m delighted that our efforts to help secure this funding were successful,” Sainato said. “Studies consistently show that kids focus better, retain more, and generally perform better all-around when they have the benefit of proper nutrition. Broadening nutritious menu options for kids is a great first step in preparing them for future success, and it also introduces them to the idea of making smart food choices so they can develop healthier eating habits for life.”

Sainato said the grants – all to New Castle Area School District schools – are as follows: 

  • Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center – $48,357
  • George Washington Intermediate School – $46,000
  • Croton Kindergarten – $4,715

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program began in Pennsylvania in 2004 and is now in every state. 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.

Funding priority is given to the schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. More than 200 elementary schools across Pennsylvania were selected to receive the grants, which total nearly $5.5 million.