Matzie: Nearly $106K secured to bring more fresh produce to Beaver County students

AMBRIDGE, Aug. 15 – Beaver County students will see more fresh produce during the school day thanks to new grant funding of more than $105,900 from the state Department of Education, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver, announced today.

Matzie said four grants awarded under the federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program will allow the Aliquippa, Ambridge Area and Rochester Area school districts to supplement regular school meals with appetizing, healthy options.

“Having fresh produce available for kids during the school day encourages them to choose healthy snacks over starchy, sugary junk food and helps them stay alert, energized, and ready to learn,” Matzie said. “It directly impacts their classroom performance, and it also helps them form healthy eating patterns early in life. Securing this new funding is going to allow our school districts to keep those healthy options going for kids.”

The funding includes:

  • $38,808 to the Aliquippa Elementary School in the Aliquippa School District.
  • $25,128 to Rochester Elementary School in the Rochester Area School District.
  • $22,824 to Highland Elementary School in the Ambridge Area School District.
  • $19,152 to State Street Elementary School in the Ambridge Area School District.

Under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, selected schools are reimbursed for the cost of making free fresh fruits and vegetables available to students during the school day, separate from the lunch or breakfast meal, in one or more areas of the school. The goals are to introduce children to new, wider varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables and to increase overall acceptance and consumption of fresh, unprocessed produce. The program also promotes nutrition education.

To be eligible, schools must participate in the National School Lunch Program. The FFVP prioritizes schools with the highest percentage of children eligible for free and reduced-price meals in order to give children from low-income families more opportunities to consume fresh produce on a regular basis.

More information on the grants is available here: