Knox County’s elementary students will once again enjoy fresh produce thanks to a federal program implemented through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
All seven of Knox’s elementary schools will participate in the program this year, news that was welcomed by Angela Ledford, school food service director for the district.
“We are excited to have all of our elementary schools participating this year,” said Ledford. “The students really enjoy trying the different fruits and vegetables throughout the school year.”
The fresh fruit and vegetable program (FFVP) provides all children in participating schools with a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school day. It is an effective and creative way of introducing fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options. The FFVP also encourages community partnerships to support the schools when they offer free fruit and vegetables to children during the school day.
The goal of the FFVP is to:
• create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices
• expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience
• increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption
• make a difference in children’s diets to impact their present and future health.
Lynn Camp Schools’ principal Anthony Pennington is looking forward to the fresh fruits and vegetables again this year for his students at the elementary school.
“Anything we can do to improve nutrition and give our kids healthier choices is great,” said Pennington. “It gives the children a chance not only to eat healthier, but to try different fresh fruits and vegetables.”
School selection was based upon submitted applications from elementary schools that operate the National School Lunch Program and that have 50 percent or more of their students eligible for free/reduced-price meals. Priority was given to schools with the highest percentage of free- and reduced-price eligible students.
Kentucky received $2.78 million in FFVP funding for the 2013-14 school year. Each participating school will receive funds to operate the program based on approximately $50 per student enrolled.