Harkins, Merski, Bizzarro: More than $250,000 in grants will bring fresh fruits and vegetables to school menus

ERIE, July 15 – Erie County elementary school students will see more fresh fruits and vegetables on the school menu thanks to $251,047 in grants awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, state Reps. Pat Harkins, Bob Merski and Ryan Bizzarro, all D-Erie, announced today.

“The nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables are essential for ensuring kids’ healthy growth and bolstering their immune systems, which is so important in a school setting, where kids are in constant close contact,” Harkins said. “I’m so glad we were successful in our efforts to secure this funding.”

Merski agreed, noting, “As an educator for many years, I have seen how proper nutrition improves memory skills and boosts academic performance. I’m delighted that our students will be seeing this incredibly important addition to the school menu.”   

Bizzarro added that the grants help start healthy patterns, saying, “By introducing kids to fresh fruits and vegetables at an early age, we’re helping them understand that healthy eating is a choice that’s available to them and that it feels better than junk food, hopefully a lesson they’ll carry with them for life.”

The grants to the First, Second and Third Legislative Districts, by school district, are as follows:

Erie City School District
Diehl Elementary School – $29,440
Edison Elementary School – $28,923
Jefferson Elementary School  – $26,220
Joanna Connell School – $34,213
Lincoln Elementary School  – $23,115
McKinley Elementary School – $31,108
Robert Benjamin Wiley Community Charter School – $17,135

Erie Rise Leadership Academy Charter School – $20,873

Iroquois School District

Iroquois Elementary School – $40,020