FRANKFORT — Nearly 56,700 students in 137 Kentucky elementary schools will enjoy fresh produce in the 2014-15 school year as part of a federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) implemented through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In Bell County, six schools will take part in the FFVP, five in the Bell County School District and one in the Middlesboro Independent School District. Those schools include Bell Central, Lone Jack, Page, Right Fork, Yellow Creek and Middlesboro Elementary.
The FFVP provides all children in participating schools with a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school day. It is an effective and creative way of introducing fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options. The FFVP also encourages community partnerships to support the schools when they offer free fruit and vegetables to children during the school day.
The goal of the FFVP is to create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices, expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience, increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption and make a difference in children’s diets to impact their present and future health
School selection was based upon submitted applications from elementary schools that operate the National School Lunch Program and that have 50 percent or more of their students eligible for free/reduced-price meals. Priority was given to schools with the highest percentage of free- and reduced-price eligible students.
Kentucky received $2.91 million in FFVP funding for the 2014-15 school year. Each participating school will receive funds to operate the program based on approximately $51.50 per student.
There are also several other schools in surrounding counties that will be participating in the program as well. In Harlan County, eight schools will take part in the FFVP. Those schools include Black Mountain Elementary, Cawood Elementary, Cumberland Elementary, Evarts Elementary, Green Hills Elementary, James A. Cawood Elementary, Rosspoint Elementary and Wallins Elementary.