Eight public schools share $116K for fresh fruits and veggies

According to northern Wisconsin elementary schools apples, bananas, kiwi, mushrooms and spinach are not just vocabulary words. Federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture provide fruits and veggies as a snack-time food for students of five regional school districts.

Federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program allocated $150 million among nationwide. Eight public schools in northern Wisconsin will share $116,425 in funding to provide students with fresh fruit or veggies snack at least three times a week during the school day in the 2011-12 school years. Selection for the grants was based on schools with the highest percentage of students certified for reduced-price school meals.

State Superintendent Tony Evers announcing the grants as “Children from low-income families generally have fewer opportunities to consume fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis”.

In previous years, schools participating in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program have had kickoff activities, used colorful posters to promote healthy snacking, and integrated lessons on healthy eating.

A number of schools have partnered with various community groups. They work with the Farm to School program to purchase locally-grown produce. Some schools are learning to grow their own gardens to support the Fresh Fruit and Veggies Program.

Previously 25 schools are participated in Wisconsin for fresh fruits and Veggies Program. Now, 166 schools will participate in 2011-12.  The students participating in this program will receive approximately $50 per child to provide snacks to all students during the school day.

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