The sounds of crunchy apples, crispy cucumbers along with other fresh fruits and vegetables will be heard throughout the halls of Tilden Hogge Elementary School this year. Tilden Hogge Elementary School is one of 128 elementary schools across the Commonwealth of Kentucky that has been awarded a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to provide additional fresh produce for students.
The grant is intended to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption for better health as well as expand the types of fruits and vegetables that children eat. Each school receives funding from USDA to purchase their choice of fresh produce snacks, which are to be made available during the school day outside regular meal times.
"Improving the health and nutrition of our kids is a national imperative and by providing schools with fresh fruits and vegetables that expand their healthy options, we are helping our kids to have a brighter, healthier future," said U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Every time our kids eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable, they are learning healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime."
"The program is highly successful in introducing schoolchildren to a variety of produce they otherwise might not have the opportunity to try," said Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. "I am pleasantly surprised when children tell me it was their first time trying a particular fruit or vegetable. Fortunately children are learning fruits and vegetables are healthy choices and tasty alternatives to snacks high in fat, sugar, or salt."
Pat Richmond, director of Tilden Hogge Elementary School’s Family Resource Center, was excited at news of the grant. “Our students have been learning how important it is to make wise food choices for a healthy diet. But with today’s economy the way it is, families are having a difficult time affording the cost of fresh produce when they buy their groceries. The grant from the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program will help by giving our students healthy snacks, reinforcing their lessons in healthy eating.”