Elementary schools throughout Pennsylvania will receive $7 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide students with healthy snacks.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE | On Wednesday, August 31, Governor Tom Wolf announced that 266 elementary schools will receive $7 million in grant funding to provide students with fresh fruit and vegetable snacks.
“Healthy foods are essential to children’s growth, learning, development, and well-being, and this funding will help more students access nutritious food while school is in session,” Governor Wolf said. “The fresh fruits and vegetables offered through these grants will help students establish healthy eating habits, grow stronger, and stay focused and engaged in the classroom.”
The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). FFVP’s goals are to create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices, expand the variety of fruits and vegetables that students experience, increase fruit and vegetable consumption, and positively impact students’ present and future health.
The program was implemented in Pennsylvania in 2004 and is now available in all 50 states. Funding priority is given to schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. Grantees are required to spend most of their funding to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables and must develop a plan to establish partnerships to reduce other costs. Schools are also required to provide nutrition education to students but cannot use FFVP funding to purchase nutrition education materials.