Numerous Cape Fear schools selected for Fresh Fruit, Vegetable program

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Several schools in the Cape Fear are taking part in the Fruit and Vegetable Program (Photo: NC Department of Public Instruction)

NORTH CAROLINA (WWAY) — 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 the 2022-23 school year.

This is North Carolina’s largest number of schools ever to participate in a given school year.

Every school that applied was selected and approved to participate, including 21 schools in the Cape Fear.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is a federally assisted program providing free fresh fruits and vegetables to children during the school day at eligible elementary schools. The goal of the 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 among children.

“The health and academic success of our students are among our top priorities,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt said. “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 FFVP 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.

To be selected for the FFVP, a school must be an elementary school, represent the highest percentage of economically disadvantaged students, be currently approved to participate in the National School Lunch Program, and complete an annual application. The 232 elementary schools selected to participate meet these criteria, have diverse enrollments, and represent 34 public school units with almost 103,000 students.

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