Fresh fruit, vegetable program expands for Ill. schools | News
(KFVS) - The Illinois State Board of Education announced Monday that 267 schools in Illinois will participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program during the 2012-13 school year.
The schools, both public and private that already participate in the National School Lunch Program, will get a total of $4.9 million to share, up from last year’s grant amount of $4.7 million that served 215 schools.
“This is a valuable federal program that improves access to great fruits and vegetables,” said Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “This program helps children from low-income families feed their minds and bodies with good nutrition and promotes healthy habits for life.”
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program requires participating schools to use between $50 to $75 per enrolled student, with the majority of that money being spent on fresh produce. Program funding runs through June 30, 2013.
FFVP provides all students in participating schools access to a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables at least twice a week. It allows schools to make available the additional produce anytime during the regular school day, except during breakfast and lunch.
According to ISBE, the goal is to expose students to lifelong healthy eating habits. For example, schools can incorporate nutrition education into numerous daily classroom activities such as math, health, geography and science, by developing lesson plans involving fruits and vegetables. Some schools have initiated a “Vegetable of the Day” to entice students to try produce they might otherwise not have access to and increase nutrition education efforts.
The USDA first piloted the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in 2002 and it was expanded to include all states for the 2008-09 school year. More than 400 schools statewide applied for the 2012-13 grant. Each school will be reimbursed on a monthly basis for allowable expenses up to the school’s total awarded amount. The fresh produce purchased under this program cannot be used to replace fruits or vegetables already being served to students at breakfast or lunch.
Schools added to the program include:
- Bethel Sch Dist 82 Bethel Grade School Mount Vernon
- Cairo USD 1 Cairo Elementary School Cairo
- Carbondale Elem Sch Dist 95 Thomas Elem School Carbondale
- Carrier Mills-Stonefort Comm Unit Sch Dist 2 Carrier Mills Elem School Carrier Mills
- Cobden Unit Sch Dist 17 Cobden Elem School Cobden
- Egyptian Comm Unit Sch Dist 5 Egyptian Elem School Tamms
- Eldorado Comm Unit Sch Dist 4 Eldorado Elem School Eldorado
- Meridian Comm Unit Sch Dist 101 Meridian Elem School Mounds
- Mt Vernon SD 80 Benjamin Franklin Early Educ Ctr Mount Vernon
- Mt Vernon SD 80 J L Buford Intermediate Ed Center Mount Vernon
- Mt Vernon SD 80 Mt Vernon Dist 80 Primary Center Mount Vernon
- Mt Vernon SD 80 Zadok Casey Middle School Mount Vernon
- Murphysboro Comm Unit Sch Dist 186 Carruthers Elem School Murphysboro
- Shawnee Comm Unit Sch Dist 84 Shawnee Elem School-North Grand Tower
- Shawnee Comm Unit Sch Dist 84 Shawnee Elem School-South McClure
- Tamaroa Sch Dist 5 Tamaroa Elem School Tamaroa
- Tri-County Spec Ed Joint Agrmt Tri-County School Murphysboro
The complete list of 267 schools in the Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program, as well as a map of the selected schools, is online by clicking here.
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