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Wolf Administration Awards $5 Million in Fresh Food Grants to Pennsylvania Elementary Schools

July 30, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that nearly 200 elementary schools across the commonwealth have been selected for grants totaling almost $5 million to provide students with fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day.

“Good nutrition is a building block for a child’s health and well-being,” Governor Wolf said. “Making healthy food accessible by students, whether through expanded breakfast programs or making local produce available during the day, helps keep students nourished so they are prepared to learn in our classrooms.”

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.

“Providing fresh fruits and vegetables helps keep students healthy, while also providing an opportunity to teach them about health, and how to make smart and nutritious food choices,” Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said.

To qualify for a grant, a school must have a free and reduced meal eligibility of 50 percent or more. Grantees are required to spend a majority of their grant on the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetable 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 2018 grant recipients visit here.

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