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Photo of a school lunch line in NJ - Click to enlarge
For Immediate Release: June 15, 2009
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(609) 633-2954

(TRENTON) – The New Jersey Department of Agriculture today announced that almost 100 New Jersey school districts or individual schools will receive equipment grants to improve their school nutrition programs as part of a nationwide effort to stimulate activity within the American economy.

“The equipment purchased with these grants will improve our schools’ capabilities to feed New Jersey school children nutritious, safe meals,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine.  “This is a wonderful example of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package doing what he intended it to do, make people’s lives better.”

In New Jersey, 95 school districts or schools have been awarded $1,859,763 in grants to purchase, renovate, or replace equipment used in the provision of the National School Lunch Program.  To view the list of grant recipients, visit

Part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 signed by President Obama in February, the Food Service Equipment Assistance Grants are designed to improve lunch program infrastructure and provide economic stimulus.  The schools receiving the funds must expend the grant funds within three months of receipt.  The Department of Agriculture will audit those schools to ensure the items were purchased and the funds were used for the granted purposes. 

“The grants will allow schools to buy new refrigerators, freezers and many other items essential to the delivery of safe and quality meals,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher.  “These items will assist in improving energy efficiency for school food service and allow for expanded participation in school meal programs.”

To receive a grant, the school or school district had to be a part of the National School Lunch Program.  The Act also required that priority was to be given to schools that had 50 percent or more students eligible for free or reduced price meals.

The federal recovery funds are an excellent complement to Governor Corzine’s Economic Assistance and Recovery Plan, announced last October during a joint session of the New Jersey Legislature.  Since then, the Governor has advanced numerous efforts to stimulate New Jersey’s economy, create jobs, combat hunger, provide home energy assistance, and take proactive initiatives to prevent home foreclosures – all in response to the slumping national economy.

For additional information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, visit and