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NEWS RELEASES 2008-09 :: MAY 6, 2009


Students at 62 North Carolina elementary schools will have access to fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day next year thanks to an almost $1.8 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The primary purpose of the grant is to promote healthier food choices by introducing a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables through daily snacks and incorporating nutrition education in lesson plans.

This is the sixth consecutive year North Carolina has had the opportunity to participate in the USDA's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Elementary schools use the funds to purchase and serve a variety of free fruits and vegetables to all enrolled students in participating schools. Schools that have previously participated in the program used the funds to provide fruit baskets inside classrooms, kiosks in the hallways, and other innovative approaches to give students the opportunity to grab a fresh fruit or vegetable snack during the school day. Participation in this program also promotes a healthier school environment.

State Superintendent June Atkinson was pleased that North Carolina continues to be involved in this program and that more elementary schools will participate. "It's essential that students learn to eat healthy and what better way to promote this message than to provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day? The lesson learned will benefit them for a lifetime," Atkinson said.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Child Nutrition Services Section Chief Lynn Hoggard agreed with Atkinson adding, "We hope that the more students are exposed to fruits and vegetables, the more they will begin to choose them over less nutritious snacks."

Schools participating in the program also will make nutrition education a priority so students will learn the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet. This program creates an optimum environment for students to develop healthy snacking habits because it incorporates all the senses – sight, touch, smell, sound and taste.

The NCDPI's Child Nutrition Services Section is partnering with the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, and the NC Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health, to implement the program in the following elementary schools for the 2009-10 school year. For more information on the USDA's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, please contact the NCDPI Communications division at 919.807.3450.

Schools participating in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in 2009-10 are:

  • Alamance-Burlington Schools: Hillcrest Elementary
  • Alleghany County Schools: Glade Creek Elementary
  • Ashe County Schools: Blue Ridge Elementary, Mountain View Elementary
  • Asheville City Schools: Hall Fletcher Elementary, Vance Elementary
  • Avery County Schools: Crossnore Elementary, Freedom Trail Elementary, Newland Elementary
  • Bladen County Schools: Bladen Lakes Primary
  • Brunswick County Schools: Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary, Supply Elementary, Waccamaw School
  • Buncombe County Schools: Emma Elementary, Johnston Elementary, Pisgah Elementary
  • Burke County Schools: Rutherford College Elementary
  • Camp Lejeune Dependents Schools: Johnson Primary School, Tarawa Terrace I Primary, Tarawa Terrace II Elementary
  • Cherokee County Schools: Hiwassee Dam Elementary/Middle School, Martins Creek School
  • Craven County Schools: Graham A. Barden Elementary, J.T. Barber Elementary, James W. Smith Elementary, Oaks Road Elementary, Trent Park Elementary, Vanceboro-Farm Life Elementary
  • Durham Public Schools: E.K. Powe Elementary
  • Guilford County Schools: Cyrus P. Frazier Elementary
  • Henderson County Schools: Dana Elementary
  • Lincoln County Schools: S. Ray Lowder Elementary
  • Montgomery County Schools: Candor Elementary, Mount Gilead Elementary, Page Street Elementary
  • Northampton County Schools: Rich Square WS Creecy Elementary
  • Randolph County Schools: Ramseur Elementary, Southmont Elementary
  • Public Schools of Robeson County: East Robeson Primary, Long Branch Elementary, Peterson Elementary, Saint Pauls Elementary
  • Rowan-Salisbury Schools: Hanford Dole Elementary, Elizabeth Koontz Elementary, North Rowan Elementary
  • Stanly County Schools: Aquadale Elementary, Central Elementary, East Albermarle Elementary, North Albemarle Elementary, Norwood Elementary, Oakboro Elementary
  • Surry County Schools: White Plains Elementary
  • Thomasville City Schools: Liberty Drive Elementary, Thomasville Primary
  • Transylvania County Schools: Brevard Elementary, Rosman Elementary
  • Tyrrell County Schools: Tyrrell Elementary
  • Union County Schools: East Elementary, Rock Rest Elementary
  • Vance County Schools: Carver Elementary
  • Whiteville City Schools: Edgewood Elementary, Whiteville Primary

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.