More than 59,000 students in 146 Kentucky schools, including six Whitley County elementary schools, will enjoy fresh produce in the 2016-17 school year as part of a federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) implemented through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program provides all children in participating schools with a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school day. It is an effective and creative way of introducing fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options. The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program also encourages community partnerships to support the schools when they offer free fruits and vegetables to children during the school day, according to a Kentucky Department of Education news release.
The goal of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is to create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices, expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience, increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption and make a difference in children’s diets to impact their present and future health.
School selection was based upon submitted applications from elementary schools that operate the National School Lunch Program and that have 50 percent or more of their students eligible for free/reduced-price meals.
Priority was given to schools with the highest percentage of free- and reduced-price eligible students. Kentucky received more than $3 million in Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program funding for the 2016-17 school year, and Whitley County will receive a total of $106,550 in grant funds.
Each participating school will receive funds to operate the program based on approximately $50 per student.
Whitley County Superintendent Scott Paul said that the district applied for grants for seven elementary schools and received funding for six schools. Oak Grove Elementary was the only school that didn’t receive funding in Whitley County.
Whitley County’s participating schools are listed below.
• Boston Elementary School – $12,150.
• Whitley Central Intermediate School – $23,350.
• Whitley East Elementary School – $12,950.
• Pleasant View Elementary School – $14,750.
• Whitley North Elementary School – $19,500.
• Whitley Central Primary School – $23,850.
In addition, six Knox County elementary schools received grants, including Lynn Camp Elementary School, three McCreary County elementary schools and four Bell County elementary schools.