PITTSBURGH, PA – July 15, 2019 – Today, Senator Jay Costa announced the award of federal grants to local elementary schools to fund healthy, fresh food programs for students.
“Our young students can’t learn properly if they aren’t properly fed,” said Senator Costa. “A healthy meal means so much to a hungry child, and these grants are going to schools that have demonstrated a need in their students’ diets.”
Funding priority is given to the schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. Grantees are required to spend a majority of their grant on the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetable and must develop a plan to establish partnerships to reduce other costs. Schools are also required to provide nutrition education to students, but cannot use FFVP funding to purchase nutrition education materials.
The Woodland Hills School District will receive $60,490; Wilkinsburg schools will receive $28,014; West Mifflin Area Schools will receive $42,607.50; Propel Charter Schools will receive $139,897.50; Pittsburgh School District will receive $92,805; Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship will receive $17,940; and Penn Hills School District will receive $69,402.
The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). The program’s goals are 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. FFVP was first implemented in Pennsylvania in 2004 and expanded to all 50 states in 2008.
“Fresh fruits and vegetables provide vital nutrients to growing children,” said Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera. “These grants are another way to help address food security in our schools while also providing an opportunity to teach students how to make smart and nutritious choices.”