Philadelphia − July 15, 2019 − State Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) praised more than $120,000 in grants to help provide fresh fruits and vegetables to students in the 7th Senatorial District during the school day.
Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration announced the grants, which were awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). In total, $5.5. million in grants were awarded across the state, including to six schools in Senator Hughes’ district:
- Global Leadership Academy Charter School $28,750
- Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School $25,645
- Belmont Charter School $27,600
- Gamily Charter School $11,673
- Inquiry Charter School $15,410
- Samuel Gompers School $12,765
“Healthy bodies help healthy minds learn more efficiently and effectively,” Sen. Hughes said. “I am grateful for these grants and the fresh fruit and vegetables it will provide for our children. The health and wellness of our children is of the utmost important and we must continue to invest in these sorts of programs.”
The FFVP program’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.
“Children are better prepared to learn when they have access to healthy food choices during their day,” Wolf said. “By expanding breakfast programs, offering reduced-price meals and providing fresh produce, we’re improving the conditions to help students succeed.”
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 vegetable and must develop a plan to establish partnerships to reduce other costs.
“Fresh fruits and vegetables provide vital nutrients to growing children,” Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said. “These grants are another way to help address food security in our schools while also providing an opportunity to teach students how to make smart and nutritious choices.”