Thirteen Reading School District elementary schools are among 288 across the state to get federal dollars to help provide fresh fruit and vegetables to students.
The state is providing a total of $7 million to help make sure kids get healthy snacks during the school day. Reading schools will receive a total of $451,800.
The grants are funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and administered by the state Department of Education.
“Healthy, nutritious meals are essential to a child’s growth and success,” Education Secretary Noe Ortega said in a statement announcing the grants. “These fresh food grants will help ensure students have access to fresh produce that they may not be introduced to otherwise, while also supporting their physical and academic growth.”
The grants prioritized schools with the highest rates of students who qualify for free and reduced price meals. Schools receiving funding are required to spend most of the money on buying fresh fruits and vegetable and must develop a plan to establish partnerships to reduce other costs.
Schools receiving the grants must also provide nutrition education to students but may not use the grant money to do so.
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