OC, Forest schools to benefit by healthy snacks funding

From staff reports

Elementary schools in both the Oil City and Forest area school districts will benefit by grant funding to provide students with fresh fruit and vegetable snacks during the school day, according to Gov. Tom Wolf’s office.

A total of $7 million in funding was awarded statewide through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, a news release from Wolf’s office said.

In the Oil City Area School District, Hasson Heights Elementary School will receive $26,320, Seventh Street School will receive $12,740 and Smedley Street Elementary School will receive $7,630.

In the Forest Area School District, West Forest Elementary School will receive $8,260 and East Forest Elementary School will receive $5,320.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, the release said, is designed 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.

The program was implemented in Pennsylvania in 2004 and is now available in all 50 states, according to the release.

Funding priority is given to schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals, according to the release. Grantees are required to spend most of their funding to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables and must develop a plan to establish partnerships to reduce other costs.

Schools, the release said, are also required to provide nutrition education to students but cannot use the funding to purchase nutrition education materials.

“Healthy foods are essential to children’s growth, learning, development, and well-being, and this funding will help more students access nutritious food while school is in session,” Wolf said.

“The fresh fruits and vegetables offered through these grants will help students establish healthy eating habits, grow stronger, and stay focused and engaged in the classroom.”


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