Williams: Local schools will provide fresh fruits and veggies to students thanks to grants

COATESVILLE, Sept. 22 – State Rep. Dan Williams announced today that two local schools—East Fallowfield and Rainbow elementary schools—have been awarded grants to provide students with fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day.

“During this COVID-19 emergency, maintaining continued access to fresh, healthy foods for our students is important,” Williams, D-Chester, said. “Schools in my district have gone above and beyond to ensure this lifeline has continued, and I’m pleased that the Department of Education is providing these awards to fuel our children’s growth.”

The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). The program’s goals are to create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices, expand the variety of fruits and vegetables students experience, increase fruit and vegetable consumption, and positively impact students’ present and future health. FFVP was first implemented in Pennsylvania in 2004 and expanded to all 50 states in 2008.

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 a majority 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.

A list of the 2020 grant recipients can be found in PDE’s School Nutrition Programs website.