Matzie: Grants will ensure elementary school students have access to fresh fruits and vegetables

AMBRIDGE, Sept. 22 – Grant funding to two Beaver County elementary schools will ensure students have access to fresh fruits and vegetables for the nutrition they need to stay healthy and succeed in the classroom, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today.

Matzie said the funding awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program includes grants to Highland Elementary School in the Ambridge Area School District and Rochester Elementary School in the Rochester Area School District.

“There’s no question that students need a healthy, nutritious diet to learn and thrive,” Matzie said. “Unfortunately, with the pandemic affecting household budgets and store inventories, some families have found it more difficult to keep fresh produce on the table on a regular basis.

“Securing this funding will help ensure young students have reliable access to the nutrition proven to promote focus, mental acuity, memory retention and other building blocks of academic success – regardless of household budget or other obstacles.”

Matzie said the funding, which was not broken down by district, is part of a package of more than $7 million in grants awarded to 230 elementary schools.

Under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, schools will receive between $50 and $75 per student, based on 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.