State’s grant fruits and veggies

Waukegan elementary school receives additional fruits and veggies through state’s grant

State’s grant has helped receive an extra helping of fruits and vegetables for students at Carman-Buckner Elementary School twice a week.

Illinois State Board of Education’s Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program’s initiative of a $34,350 grant to Students of Carman-Buckner Elementary School in Waukegan has helped receive an extra helping of fruits and veggies especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Helping kids eat nutritious food, this school is one among the 200 in Illinois to receive the grant amount, while teaching them about nutritional meal choices.

fruits-and-vegetablesSchools that were previously contributed in the USDA’s National School Lunch Program qualify for the grant.

$5.18 million was distributed to all qualifying schools in Illinois this year.

We’re excited for our students as they are coming across an opportunity to eat fruits and vegetables that they have never heard of. Principal Vanessa Campos said.

In order to make it regular and to let them try, one day of the week they are provided with a fruit and the other with a vegetable.

With just about 700 students receiving them, the snacks are available to the students in sealed bags. It is one such way for the school to offer healthy snacks for the students.

Wendy Smith, the School nurse has applied for the grant three years ago and since then she has applied for it annually.

Smith said students look forward to the snacks.

“Almost every day they come in and ask if it’s snack day and what kind of snack they’ll have,” Smith said.

The nutritional information on the variety of treats such as what contains vitamin D and what is full of fiber is been provided to the teachers.

When it comes to incorporation of the information in lesson or to pass along, teachers have to determine it, Campos said.

Carambola, commonly known as star fruit and the vegetable arugula are two of the healthy snacks that the students are unaware of, however there are several other varieties as well. Some of the other foods that the students have given a try include turnips, red peppers, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes.

Encouraging the students to try new fruits and vegetables, many have fallen in love with the tastes, she says.

The extra snacks has received great response both from the students and parents side, she adds, hence we are now making requests for fruits and vegetables favored by the students.

Mangoes were the highly recommended fruit.

Principal Vanessa Campos said that this has made a great impact on the reputation of the school. Expanding the palates of the students, while helping them eat nutritious we look forward to provide it year after year, she says.

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