Two local elementary schools are among a handful in Kentucky to receive a federal grant to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to students.
Fannie Bush and Shearer elementary schools received more than $30,000 from the Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the upcoming school year.
The grants are available to schools that have more than 80 percent of their student population receiving free or reduced price lunches.
The goal of the program is to help combat childhood obesity by helping children learn more healthful eating habits and to introduce them to a variety of fresh produce they otherwise might not have the opportunity to try.
Clark County Nutrition Director Becky Lowry said she was excited to get the grants.
“This is awesome. We’re very excited about this grant,” Lowry said. “Three times a week in the afternoons, every student in these two schools — more than 600 kids — will get a fresh fruit or vegetable snack. That’s something we’ve never been able to do.”
There is an educational component to the grant as well, so along with the snacks, the students will learn about the different fruits and vegetables they are receiving, Lowry said.
“We’re going to try to go outside the box a little bit and purchase some things they might not have seen before, like star fruit or kiwi. And not only are they going to get exposure to different things, they will get to learn what the different fruits and veggies have in them as far as nutrients and why they’re good for them,” she said.
This is the first time any Clark County schools have qualified for one of the grants.
The grants are based on the number of qualifying students each school has. Fannie Bush received $13,744, while Shearer qualified for $20,116.
Contact Bob Flynn at email@example.com.