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Almost 76,000 Children Around the State to Benefit

For Immediate Release: May 13, 2013

Contact: Lynne Richmond (609) 633-2954

(TRENTON) – As part of the Christie Administration’s continuing efforts to provide improved nutritional opportunities for school children, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced 144 New Jersey schools will participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2013-2014 school year.

The United States Department of Agriculture has allocated $3,934,586 for New Jersey for next school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which provides fresh produce to students during the school day, along with nutrition education.  The goal of the program is to expose children to healthy foods, increase their fruit and vegetable consumption and set them on the road to improved lifelong dietary habits.

“The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program gets kids excited about eating fresh produce,” said Secretary Fisher.  “Participating schools have seen positive changes in the student population because of the program.  We hope they will take these lessons and the good food habits with them into adulthood.”

Starting in September, the selected schools located in 14 New Jersey counties with almost 76,000 students, will begin to offer fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis free to students each week.

Some of the criteria used in selecting the schools to participate included:  Elementary schools with 50 percent or more of their students eligible for free or reduced price meals; schools that planned to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables as much as possible; the program would be well-publicized and all students would have access to the produce offered; and plans to partner with outside organizations to enhance nutrition education.

Click here for the list of 2013-2014 participating schools.