Merski, Harkins: Erie schools awarded $443,952 for fresh fruit, vegetables

ERIE, Aug. 15 – Expanding on their joint effort to provide Erie schools with healthy, fresh food options, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today that schools throughout the county will be receiving $443,952 through the federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

“Expanding on the availability of fresh, healthy food for our students will provide the nourishment they need to prosper both physically and academically,” Merski said. “This program will also provide the opportunity to establish healthy eating habits early in these students’ lives.”

Harkins said, “Providing students the option to ditch the sugary snacks for more wholesome fruits and vegetables is a vital aspect of healthy living. Every child deserves the chance to maximize their present and future health, and this funding helps make that a possibility.”

The funding comes from the National School Lunch Program and is in addition to the universal free breakfast program that was championed by Merski and Harkins as a part of the 2023-24 state budget.