NASHVILLE – Fairview Early Childhood Center, D.S. Johnson, O.R. Pope and Williford elementary schools will participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program this school year.
Officials said 143 elementary schools across the state were selected to participate in the program, which offers money to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables will be available free of charge for students at scheduled times in their classrooms as coordinated with the principal, teachers and Child Nutrition Staff two times per week. The goal is to create a healthy environment by making a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables easily accessible to students so they will eat and enjoy them more often.
“We are very excited about having four of our elementary schools selected to participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program,” said Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Child Nutrition Director Patty Green, RD, LDN. “In addition to receiving a fresh fruit or vegetable snack, the students will also receive a quick nutrition lesson about the fruit or vegetable that they are eating. A few of the fresh fruit and vegetable items planned include plums, pepper strips, mango chunks, zucchini and yellow squash, tangerines, broccoli, grapefruit, carrot sticks, kiwi, sweet potato sticks, star fruit, radishes and more.”
Eating more servings of fruits and vegetables a day (half of the plate) can improve overall health. Too few students consume enough fruits and vegetables, officials said. Fruits and vegetables contribute to better health because they are low in calories and fat, high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
For more information about the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program available the schools, contact Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Child Nutrition Supervisor Carolyn Pennington, RD, LDN, at 252-462-2491.