Longietti: Grant funding will help ensure elementary students have access to fresh fruits and vegetables

HERMITAGE, Sept. 21 – Grant funding to two elementary schools in the Sharon City School District will ensure students have access to fresh, nutritious produce, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today.

Longietti said the funding awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program includes grants to Musser and West Hill elementary schools.

“The nutritional benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables are essential for helping keep young minds sharp, combating disease and boosting the immune system, all of which equals better attendance and better academic performance,” Longietti said.  

“Since the start of the pandemic, however, keeping fresh fruits and vegetables on the table has been a challenge for many households. Securing this funding is going to help provide that access to nutrition so students have a level playing field to learn and succeed, regardless of household income or other obstacles.”

The funding, which was not broken down by district, is part of a package of more than $7 million in grants to 230 elementary schools. Under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, schools will receive between $50 and $75 per student, based upon the federal allocation to the state. Funding priority was given to the schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals.

More information on the grants is available here.