NEWS RELEASES 2013-14 :: JUNE 5, 2014


Students at 158 elementary schools throughout North Carolina will enjoy more fresh fruits and vegetables during the 2014-2015 school year thanks to a $4 million grant from the USDA Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program (FFVP).  The grant will be used to expand the variety of fruits and vegetables on school menus and to increase overall fruit and vegetable consumption by providing healthier snack choices for students.

"Schools play an important role in helping students make healthy choices and stick to a well-balanced diet," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "This grant will ensure that many North Carolina children enjoy more fresh fruit and vegetables and learn that good health and nutrition can lead to greater success in and out of the classroom."

Principals, teachers, and personnel in participating schools are encouraged to promote fruits and vegetables as snacks throughout the academic day.  Fresh produce will be available to students in a variety of locations at school.  In previous years, for example, program participants provided baskets of fruits and vegetables in classrooms and set up fresh fruit and vegetable kiosks in hallways to encourage students to grab a quick and healthy snack between classes.  Students will still be urged to eat fruits and vegetables at regular mealtimes, as the produce purchased with the grant funds must be in addition to produce served as part of the school breakfast and lunch programs.

The National School Lunch Act requires that schools with the highest percentage of students eligible for free and reduced price meals be given priority for inclusion in the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program.  This ensures that the program benefits low-income children who often do not have as much access to fresh fruit and vegetables. The primary goal of the program is to give students more opportunities to eat fruits and vegetables instead of less nutritious snack options.

 The NC Department of Public Instruction School Nutrition Services Section received a total of 244 FFVP applications for the 2014-2015 school year. A list of the 158 winning schools is available
here (pdf, 101kb). The amount of funds distributed to each school will be based on the school’s enrollment.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 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.