Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) today announced that a grant program, encouraging students to live a healthy lifestyle by increasing access to fresh produce in schools across the state, reached a milestone during the 2019-2020 school year.
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by DPI, now serves the highest amount of students (71,516) and schools (202 public and private schools) since the program launched in Wisconsin during the 2008-09 school year. The program gives students access to various fresh fruits and vegetables by offering reimbursement for the items to eligible schools.
“Receiving proper nourishment throughout the day is essential to helping our students,” State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said. “The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program gives students many nutritious options to help them be successful in school and improve their well-being.”
Schools eligible to participate in the grant program must have 50 percent or more of its students receiving subsidized school meals, or an equivalent rate for Community Eligibility Program sites. Guidelines state that applicant schools with the highest level of free and reduced-price enrollment receive priority in selection. About $3.5 million is available in Wisconsin for reimbursement for the 2020 fiscal year.
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program was introduced in four states in 2002 and has since expanded nationwide. Wisconsin adopted the program in 2008.
For additional information on the program, visit dpi.wi.gov/school-nutrition/programs/fresh-fruit-vegetable.