TRENTON – New Jersey has received federal funding to expand the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2012-2013 school year, state Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher announced today.
The number of schools participating in the program will increase from 143 in 16 counties last school year to 155 schools in 18 counties starting in September. Almost 76,000 students in total will benefit.
“The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program has been extremely successful in New Jersey,” said Fisher. “The program has changed the school environment for the better, with children at one school we visited referring to the fresh produce as ‘treats.’ It is a hands-on way of teaching students about good nutrition and creating good food habits that will last them a lifetime.”
The United States Department of Agriculture has allocated $3,887,073 for New Jersey’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. The program provides fresh produce to students during the school day, along with nutrition education. By exposing children to healthy foods, their fruit and vegetable consumption increases, ultimately leading to improved lifelong dietary habits.
Some of the criteria used in selecting the schools to participate included: Elementary schools with 50 percent or more of their students eligible for free or reduced price meals; schools that planned to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables as much as possible; the program would be well-publicized and all students would have access to the produce offered; and plans to partner with outside organizations to enhance nutrition education.
The Union County schools that will participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in Union County for the 2012-2013 school year are:
- Abraham Lincoln School #14, Elizabeth
- Benjamin Franklin School #13, Elizabeth
- Charles Judson School #25, Elizabeth
- Christopher Columbus School #15, Elizabeth
- Donald Stewart ECC #51, Elizabeth
- Dr. Albert Einstein Academy, Elizabeth
- Dr. Orlando Edreira School #26, Elizabeth
- Frances C. Smith School #50, Elizabeth
- Juan Pablo Duarte School #28, Elizabeth
- Lafayette School #6, Elizabeth
- Nicholas Butler Annex #23, Elizabeth
- Nicholas LaCorte School #3, Elizabeth
- Nicholas Murray butler School #23, Elizabeth
- Robert Morris School #18, Elizabeth
- Ronald Reagan Academy #30, Elizabeth
- Terence Reilly School #7, Elizabeth
- Hurden Looker School, Hillside
- Charles Stillman Elementary School, Plainfield
- Clinton K-8 Center, Plainfield
- DeWitt Barlow Elementary School, Plainfield
- Evergreen Elementary School, Plainfield
- Jefferson Elementary School, Plainfield
- Washington Community School, Plainfield
- Woodland Elementary School, Plainfield
- Franklin School, Rahway
- Grover Cleveland School, Rahway
- Charles Polk Elementary School, Roselle
- Harrison Elementary School, Roselle
- Kindergarten Success Academy, Roselle
Elizabeth school board President Fernando Nazco commented, “We are happy that so many of our schools have been chosen for participation in this program which introduces students to fruits and vegetables as nutritious snack options. In this program and others taking place in our schools throughout the year, we encourage our students, families, and team members to embrace healthy lifestyles.”
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