Lunch money: fruit, veggie grants available

Schools that want to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into their menus could get a serving of federal dollars — administered through the state.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grants, which can total $50 to $75 per student, are available to elementary schools with a high percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-cost lunch.

The grant application deadline is April 30.

Here’s the State Department of Education news release:

Idaho elementary schools can apply now to implement the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) for the 2014-15 school year.

The goals of the program are to increase students’ consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, to expand the variety of fruits and vegetables that children experience, to positively impact their present and future health, and to create healthier school environments by providing healthier choices for students.  FFVP schools are required to provide free fresh fruit and vegetable snacks throughout the school day.

In order to be eligible for the FFVP, schools must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an elementary school (eligible students are pre-K through sixth grade).
  • Operate the National School Lunch Program.
  • Have more than 50 percent of students eligible for free/reduced priced meals.
  • Submit a complete application.

Elementary schools with the highest free and reduced-price enrollment will be given priority during the selection process. Schools are awarded between $50 and $75 per student for the school year in order to purchase fresh fruit and vegetable snacks.

For more information on the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program requirements or for a copy of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant Application, please visit www.sde.idaho.gov/site/cnp/ or contact the Department’s Child Nutrition Programs at (208) 332-6820. 

FFVP applications must be mailed or e-mailed by Wednesday, April 30