Beginning this month, students at six Whitfield County elementary schools will benefit from healthier snacks thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
The program allows opportunities for students to enjoy a nutritious snack during the school day to help them stay focused on learning.
"It is an effective and creative way of introducing fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options," said Whitfield County Schools Nutrition Director Angie Brown said in a recent letter to parents.
Brown explained that a fresh fruit or vegetable will be offered to children in their classroom three times a week. September menu items include:
|Week of Sept. 3
||Cantaloupe, Apples, Grape Tomatoes w/lite ranch dip
|Week of Sept. 9
||Watermelon, Grapes, Mango
|Week of Sept. 16
||Jicama, Celery w/lite ranch dip, Pineapple
|Week of Sept. 23
||Apples, Watermelon, Oranges
Nancy Rice, director of the Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program, announced the program in a letter earlier this year to Whitfield County Schools Superintendent Judy Gilreath.
"On behalf of the Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program, I am pleased to inform you that your schools below have been selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) for School Year 2013-2014," Ms. Rice said in the letter.
At least half of the students in school must participate in the free and reduced-price meals to be eligible. According to the USDA, applying schools with the highest percentage are considered first for the program and will include:
- Antioch Elementary
- Cedar Ridge Elementary
- Dawnville Elementary
- Eastside Elementary
- Pleasant Grove Elementary
- Valley Point Elementary
The schools will get an initial round of startup funding for July through September of approximately $4,500 to launch the program, followed by a $25,000 boost in October to push through June 2014. Total funding for the district will be nearly $162,000. The goals of the program are:
- Expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience
- Increase children's fruit and vegetable consumption
- Make a difference in children's diet to impact their present and future health
Last year 150 elementary schools across Georgia were provided more than $4.1 million to support the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Program. Learn more at www.fns.usda.gov/ffvp.