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NEWS RELEASES 2006-07 :: SEPTEMBER 7, 2006


Thanks to a $1 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), students in 25 elementary schools will be able to participate this year in the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

This is the third consecutive year North Carolina has been awarded the opportunity to participate in the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which promotes increasing student consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Funds will be distributed among the schools to purchase and serve a wide variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables to all students. Schools are providing fruit baskets inside the classroom, kiosks in the hallways, and other innovative approaches that give students the opportunity to grab a fresh fruit or vegetable snack throughout the school day. Participation in this program also creates a healthier school environment.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said this grant plays an important role in the state's continuing efforts to build on superior schools. "It's important for students to learn healthy eating habits at a young age. This program will help with these efforts and ensure that our earliest learners master an essential skill that will benefit them for a lifetime," Atkinson said.

Schools participating in the program also will make nutrition education a priority so students will learn the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet. This program creates an optimum environment for students to develop healthful snack habits because it uses all of their senses – sound, sight, touch, smell, and most important, taste.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's Child Nutrition Services Section is partnering with the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, and the NC Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health, to implement the program in the following elementary schools:

  • Hertford Grammar School, Perquimans County Schools;
  • Perquimans Central School, Perquimans County Schools;
  • Tyrrell Elementary, Tyrrell County Schools;
  • Oaks Road Elementary, Craven County Schools;
  • Edwin A. Alderman Elementary, New Hanover County Schools;
  • Johnson Primary School, Camp Lejeune Dependents Schools;
  • Tarawa Terrace II Elementary, Camp Lejeune Dependents Schools;
  • Rich Square-Creecy Elementary, Northampton County Schools;
  • Squire Elementary, Northampton County Schools;
  • Bladen Lakes Primary School, Bladen County Schools;
  • Whiteville Primary School, Whiteville City Schools;
  • Boone Trail Elementary, Harnett County Schools;
  • Candor Elementary, Montgomery County Schools;
  • Long Branch Elementary, Public Schools of Robeson County;
  • Southmont Elementary, Randolph County Schools;
  • Draper Elementary, Rockingham County Schools;
  • Battleground Elementary, Lincoln County Schools;
  • North Rowan Elementary, Rowan-Salisbury Schools;
  • Overton Elementary, Rowan-Salisbury Schools;
  • East Albemarle Elementary, Stanly County Schools;
  • Freedom Trail Elementary, Avery County Schools;
  • Newland Elementary, Avery County Schools;
  • Hall Fletcher Elementary, Asheville City Schools;
  • Andrews Elementary, Cherokee County Schools; and
  • Bruce Drysdale Elementary, Henderson County Schools.

For more information on the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, please contact the NCDPI Communications Division at 919/807-3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.