IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:
May 10, 2018
PO Box 330
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0330
P: (609) 633-2954
C: (609) 433-1785
(ELIZABETH) – New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher and USDA representatives today presented Jerome Dunn Academy and George Washington Academy with the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program VIP Award.
The award program highlights schools in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program that are doing an exceptional job at promoting fruits and vegetables and healthy lifestyles to their students. Jerome Dunn Academy and George Washington Academy, which are in the same building and share the same FFVP, were selected for the first-place prize for providing a comprehensive program integrating the entire school community in program and wellness activities.
“The FFVP can be transformative not only to the students who are consuming more fresh produce, but also to the school environment itself,” Fisher said. “Schools treat the FFVP as an educational opportunity when all students get to enjoy a healthy snack together, learn about fruits and vegetables and celebrate the farmers who grow them. We congratulate the Jerome Dunn and George Washington Academies for their exemplary efforts.”
The two academies offer the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, a Federally funded initiative that provides grants to schools to provide fresh produce as snacks to students in schools where 50 percent or more of the students receive free or reduced-price meals.
“Our students love the program and they look forward to each serving day and what will be served,” said physical education teacher and the academies’ FFVP Coordinator Lacey McConkey. “This has been such a great opportunity for our students. They see me in the hallways or in my office and want to talk about fruits and vegetables.”
Secretary Fisher presented the school with a trophy. The school will also be able to choose a salad bar, nutrition education resources or a piece of equipment to aid in delivery of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. After the presentation, the officials visited a class where students were learning about the importance of healthy eating habits.
The Passaic Gifted and Talented Academy in the Passaic Public School District was awarded second place honors and Toussaint L'ouverture-Marquis de Lafayette School in the Elizabeth Public School District received third place honors in this year’s award program. The schools will receive trophies and banners with the FFVP logo.
The Department awarded $4,085,227 in grants to 155 schools in 14 counties serving 75,029 students through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2017-2018 school year. The program provides students with fresh produce as snacks during the school day to teach them about proper nutrition and increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables. Additional funding was given to schools that purchase produce from New Jersey farmers for the program.
To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NJDeptofAgriculture and www.facebook.com/JerseyFreshOfficial or Twitter @NJDA1 and @JerseyFreshNJDA.