Hawaii's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program thrives
Hawaii has received a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to students at 50 public schools during the upcoming school year.
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, a national initiative to make fresh produce available in schools with high percentages of disadvantaged students, supplements students' overall diets and encourages healthier snack choices. While improving the school food environment in general, the program also promotes healthy eating habits in youth by introducing them to an array of fresh fruits and vegetables.
“One of the benefits for students is the opportunity to sample local produce, or exotic produce they may not necessarily have access to at home,” said Glenna Owens, director of the DOE School Food Services Branch.
Participating schools offer students fresh fruit and vegetables during the school day and receive reimbursements ranging from $50 to $75 per student to cover the cost.
“We are so excited about this program because it is moving us in the same direction as First Lady Michelle Obama's ‘Let's Move Campaign.’ You just can’t help but get excited about this journey,” said DOE Program Specialist Leiko Iwaoka.
The Office of Hawaii Child Nutrition Programs, which administers the program, called for applications from elementary schools that serve a majority of students who qualify for free- or reduced-priced school meals. Priority was given to schools who presented a plan to incorporate nutritional education into their Fruit and Vegetable Program.
“We are so thrilled to be working in collaboration with Glenna and her staff. I know this kind of teamwork will help the program move toward a common goal,” said Susan Uyehara, director of the Office of Hawaii Child Nutrition Program.
For more information on how to become a participant in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for SY 2012-2013, contact the Office of Hawaii Child Nutrition Programs at 587-3600.
SY 2011-2012 Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program Schools
Ala Wai Elementary
Benjamin Parker Elementary
Ewa Beach Elementary
Hilo Union Elementary
Kalihi Uka Elementary
Kalihi Waena Elementary
Kapaa Elementary School
King Kamehameha III
Mt. View Elementary
Pearl City Elementary
Waiakea Waena Elementary
July 2011 eNewsletter