Local Illinois school districts selected to be part of new Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — The Illinois State Board of Education announced on Monday, July 24, the recipients of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program federal grant for the 2017-2018 school year.

Of the 49 districts selected to participate in the program, three are from the Quad Cities area: Silvis SD 34, East Moline SD 37, and Rock Island SD 41.

The program’s initiative is to assist schools in introducing students to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables they may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about or eat.

“Research shows that students with access to healthy meals perform better in school,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Introducing young students to fresh fruits and vegetables helps to establish lifelong healthy eating habits and fosters an interest in nutritious foods – where they come from, what they look like, and what they do for growing brains and bodies. The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program supports ISBE’s vision of Illinois as a state of whole, healthy children.”

While the program criteria gives priority to elementary schools that have greater free and reduced-price lunch programs, all elementary schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program are eligible to apply.

View the complete list of schools that were awarded the grant here.