HARRISBURG (August 6, 2021) – Five elementary schools in the Coatesville Area School District will receive more than $146,000 in total funding to offer students fresh fruit and vegetable snacks during the school day, state Senator Carolyn Comitta said.
The grant funds, provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) and administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Education, are as follows:
- Caln Elementary School will receive $24,895.
- East Fallowfield Elementary School will receive $23,270.
- Kings Highway Elementary School will receive $30,335.
- Rainbow Elementary School will receive $46,150.
- Reeceville Elementary School will receive $22,230.
Comitta, who serves on the Senate Education Committee, said snacking on fresh fruit and vegetables at school may help students continue healthy eating habits later on.
“Creating a safe and healthy environment in schools includes making sure that students are receiving the proper support, resources, and nutrition to excel,” said Comitta. “This funding will ensure that all students have access to healthy food options, fresh fruits and vegetables and overall access to good nutrition. Promoting such choices as part of a nutritious diet early on may help students establish healthier eating habits down the road.”
The funding for the CASD schools comes as part of more than $7 million in FFVP grants awarded to 288 elementary schools across the Commonwealth.
“Healthy, nutritious meals are essential to a child’s growth and success,” said Education Secretary Noe Ortega. “These fresh food grants will help ensure students have access to fresh produce that they may not be introduced to otherwise, while also supporting their physical and academic growth.”
First implemented in Pennsylvania in 2004 and now available in all 50 state, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program aims 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.
Funding priority is given to the schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. Grantees are required to spend most of their grant on the purchase of 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.
“The fresh fruit and vegetable program provides young students exposure to fresh fruits and vegetables that may otherwise not have the opportunity, and provides them a healthy snack at the same time,” said State Director of Child Nutrition Programs under the Division of Food and Nutrition, Vonda Ramp M.S., R.D. “We are delighted to provide this opportunity to the awarded schools.”