Siegel: Almost $112K in federal funding for free fresh fruits and vegetables for students
HARRISBURG, Aug. 17 – State Rep. Josh Siegel today announced $111,960 in funding has been awarded to three area schools to provide fruits and vegetables to students under the federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
These grants include:
- $48,600 to Central Elementary School.
- $41,760 to Sheridan Elementary School.
- $21,600 to Roberto Clemente Elementary Charter School.
“Introducing healthy and nutritional habits to our students when they are young and in school is vital in helping them maintain that practice throughout the entirety of their lives,” said Siegel. “This program does exactly that and makes sure our students have access to healthy food; furthermore, they don’t have to worry about if they have money to afford it.”
Through the program, the schools will receive reimbursement for the cost of making free fresh fruits and vegetables available to students during the school day. The items must be provided separately from the lunch or breakfast meal in one or more areas of the school.
The goal of FFVP is to introduce children to fresh fruits and vegetables, to include new and different varieties and to increase overall acceptance and consumption of fresh, unprocessed produce. Additionally, the program promotes nutrition education, resulting in healthier school environments for learners.
To be eligible, schools must participate in the National School Lunch Program. FFVP prioritizes schools with the highest percentage of children eligible for free and reduced-price meals in order to give children from low-income families more opportunities to consume fresh produce on a regular basis.