Fresh fruits, vegetables coming to local elementary schools

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 6, 2022

Nine Rowan-Salisbury Schools elementary schools are among a record-setting 232 elementary schools across North Carolina have been selected and approved by the state Board of Education to participate in the fresh fruit and vegetable program for 2022-23. This is the state’s largest number of schools ever to participate. Every school that applied was selected and approved to participate.

The program is federally assisted and provides free fresh fruits and vegetables to children during the school day. The goal is to introduce children to fruits and vegetables, including new and different varieties, and to increase overall acceptance and consumption of unprocessed produce.

“The health and academic success of our students are among our top priorities,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt said in a news release. “The fresh fruit and vegetable program grant provides students in critical need with key nutrients from fruits and vegetables to nourish their bodies and minds and allow them to focus in class.”

Federal guidance requires that priority for the program be given to schools with the highest percentage of economically disadvantaged students, as students enrolled in these schools generally have fewer opportunities to regularly consume fresh fruit and/or vegetables. Koontz, Landis, Hanford Dole, Isenberg, Hurley, Overton, North Rowan, Knollwood and China Grove elementary schools were selected.