Wolf Administration Awards $5.5 Million for Healthy Foods at Elementary Schools

July 16, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that more than 220 elementary schools will receive grants totaling almost $5.5 million to provide students with fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day.

“Children are better prepared to learn when they have access to healthy food choices during their day,” Governor Wolf said. “By expanding breakfast programs, offering reduced-price meals and providing fresh produce, we’re improving the conditions to help students succeed.”

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.

“Fresh fruits and vegetables provide vital nutrients to growing children,” said Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera. “These grants are another way to help address food security in our schools while also providing an opportunity to teach students how to make smart and nutritious choices.”

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.

During his tenure, Governor Wolf has made combating hunger a priority. In 2015 he established the Food Security Partnership, a group comprised of the secretaries of the departments of Aging, Agriculture, Community and Economic Development, Education, Health, and Human Services; unveiled the commonwealth’s food security plan – Setting the Table: A Blueprint for a Hunger-free PA 2016; and introduced the Governor’s School Breakfast Initiative 2017.

For a list of the 2019 grant recipients, visit PDE’s School Nutrition Programs website.

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