HARRISBURG – Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture has awarded $159,504 in grants to four elementary schools in the Lebanon School District. The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP).
“Fresh fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and we should encourage children to incorporate them into their diet at an early age so that it becomes a natural part of their diets,” Ryan said. “A variety of fruits and vegetables provide a rich source of antioxidants, instead of sugary snacks and fast food typically favored by young children, which are high in fat and sugar.”
The FFVP’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.
The following FFVP grants were issued to these four Lebanon schools:
• Harding Elementary School – $37,260.
• Houck Elementary School – $22,195.
• Northwest Elementary School – $39,847.
• Southeast Elementary School – $29,440.
• Southwest Elementary School – $30,762.
The vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables provide children with the following benefits:
• Promote good health and protect against disease, both now and in the future.
• Ensures the child’s healthy growth and development.
• Strengthen a child’s immune system and help fight illnesses.
FFVP 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 vegetables and must develop a plan to establish partnerships to reduce other costs.
Representative Frank Ryan
101st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Charles Lardner