Allegheny County schools awarded $900K for fresh fruit and vegetables

Federal grants supplement universal free school breakfast

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 15 – Area schools will receive nearly $900,000 through the federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, members of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives announced today.

“Kids are required to attend school, so it only makes sense that we ensure students have access to nutritious meals while they are in school,” said Rep. Nick Pisciottano, delegation chair. “Providing children with proper nutrition creates a better learning environment for students, teachers and staff. Tax dollars spent feeding kids, especially those who are food insecure, is money well spent.”

Pisciottano said that this funding reinforces the universal free breakfast program funded in this year’s state budget, which more than 146,000 students in Allegheny County qualify for.

Under FFVP, selected schools receive reimbursement for the cost of making free fresh fruits and vegetables available to students during the school day. These fresh fruits and vegetables must be provided separately from the lunch or breakfast meal, in one or more areas of the school during the school day.

The goal of FFVP is to introduce children to fresh fruits and vegetables, to include new and different varieties, and to increase overall acceptance and consumption of fresh, unprocessed produce. Additionally, the program promotes nutrition education, resulting in healthier school environments for learners.

A full list of Pennsylvania schools receiving funds in this round of FFVP funding is available here.

In addition to Pisciottano, the members of the delegation are state Reps. Aerion A. Abney, Brandon Markosek, Jessica Benham, Dan Deasy, Dan Frankel, Matthew Gergely, Emily Kinkead, Anita Kulik, La’Tasha D. Mayes, Joe McAndrew, Dan Miller, Abigail Salisbury, Mandy Steele and Arvind Venkat.