In an effort to increase elementary school children’s consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, expose them to new fruits and vegetables, improve healthy eating habits and help elementary schools create healthier school food environments, the Kentucky Department of Education is now accepting grant applications for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP).
The program provides funding for schools to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to serve to students. More than $2.9 million is available to Kentucky through the federal program for the grant period of July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. At a minimum of $50 per student over the course of the year, approximately 58,000 students can be served through the program.
Eligible elementary schools may fill out grant applications to receive program funding. The level of funding provided to any one school depends on the enrollment of the school. Multiple schools from the same district may apply, although not all are guaranteed to be chosen.
A small percentage of operating funds may be used for expenses such as the preparation and distribution of the fruits and vegetables. Ten percent of the total grant award may be used for administrative expenses. The project should be structured so that maximum benefits go directly to children.
The grant application deadline is June 23. The deadline for questions and answers is June 9. Grants will be awarded this summer for use in the 2014-15 school year.
During the 2013-14 school year, 134 Kentucky elementary schools received FFVP grants.
Criteria for the grants is set by Section 19(d) of the National School Lunch Act:
• to the maximum extent possible, highest priority will be given to schools with the HIGHEST proportion of children who are eligible for free and reduced price meals.
• schools must be elementary schools, or have the ability to separate out elementary school students in a K-12 program.
• schools must operate the National School Lunch Program.
• a school must have 50 percent or more of its students eligible for free/reduced-price meals.
Applicants for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grant MUST provide the following:
• a certification of support signed by the school food service manager, the school principal, and the district superintendent or equivalent positions as determined by the school.
• the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced price school lunches.
• a plan for implementation of the program, including efforts to integrate the FFVP with other efforts to either promote sound health and nutrition, reduce overweight and obesity, or promote physical activity.
It would be beneficial to:
• address in the implementation or operational plan “who does what and where” to ensure that all operational guidelines are followed. In addition, the school should develop a monthly budget to track expenditures.
• establish partnerships at the local level with grocers, Health Departments, or extension services.
The Request for Application information is available on the Kentucky Department of Education Competitive Grants page on the KDE website.
Additional tips, best practices and guidance can be found on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website.
Questions regarding this funding opportunity can be directed in writing by June 9 to: KDERFP@education.ky.gov.