Allegheny County, Pa – July 30, 2018 – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced $5 million in grants to school districts that are providing students with fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day; several of the grant awardees are in Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa Jr.’s district in Allegheny County.

 “Access to fresh foods and knowledge about nutrition builds a foundation for health that can last a lifetime,” said Senator Costa. “I’m so proud of the schools in our area that are not only taking steps to teach their students about healthy food choices, but providing those healthy options during the school day as well.”

The school districts in the 43rd district that won awards were:

  • Allegheny IU 3: $5,161.50
  • Penn Hills School District: $69,042
  • Pittsburgh School District: $179,265
  • Propel Charter School: $62,676.15
  • West Mifflin Area School District: $29,803

To qualify for one of these federally funded grants, a school must have a free and reduced meal eligibility of 50 percent or more.  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.

The funding is awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) and was first implemented in Pennsylvania in 2004 and expanded to all 50 states in 2008.  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.