The state Department of Education announced Monday that more than 230 elementary schools — including schools from the Wilkes-Barre Area, Wyoming Valley West, Hanover Area and Greater Nanticoke Area school districts — will receive more than $7 million in grants to provide students with fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day.
“Over the past several years Pennsylvania has strengthened its approach to student nutrition and throughout the commonwealth’s response to COVID-19 there has been intense focus on students’ access to food,” Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said in a news release.
The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. The program’s goals are providing healthier food choices, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and positively impacting student health.
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 vegetables and must develop a plan to establish partnerships to reduce other costs.
The Hanover Area schools to receive funding include: Hanover Area Memorial Elementary School, Hanover Green Elementary School, Lee Park Elementary School and Lyndwood Elementary School. Greater Nanticoke Area’s Kennedy Early Childhood Center is also receiving funding.
Wilkes-Barre Area schools include: Flood Elementary School, Dodson Elementary School, Kistler Elementary School and Heights/Murray Elementary School. Wyoming Valley West schools include: Chester Street Elementary School, Schuyler Avenue Elementary School, State Elementary Center and Third Avenue Elementary School.