RSU 3 schools receive federal funding for fruit and vegetable program

By Ben Holbrook | May 20, 2014

Seven Regional School Unit 3 schools were chosen to receive funds through a federal fresh fruit and vegetables program.

The program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, awards funding to school districts where at least 50 percent or more of the students qualify for free or reduced price meals.

Monroe Elementary received $3,250; Morse Memorial received $5,050; Mount View Elementary received $12,550; Mount View Middle School received $15,950; Troy Central School received $3,950; Unity Elementary received $1,950; and Walker Memorial received $4,400.

The funding is for the 2014-2015 school year.

According to the Maine Department of Education, in order for a school to participate in the program: 50 percent or more of students should be eligible for free or reduced price meals; the school must participate in the National School Lunch Program; it must be an elementary school; and it must provide a certification of support signed by the school food manager, the school principal and the district superintendent or equivalent positions as determined by the school with its application. Highest priority is given to those schools with the highest percentage of low income students.

For the 2013-2014 school year, a total of $1,923,350 was disbursed to 167 schools throughout the state at an average of $50 per student.

Allison Daugherty, school nutrition director for RSU 3, said the funds are used to provide a fresh fruit and vegetable snack for all students at the elementary and middle school level. She said students are offered a variety of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis and that the district provides nutrition education via the fruit and vegetable of the day signage.

"This program aims to expand the palates of our students by introducing fruits and vegetables at an early age to encourage healthy eating and wellness," Daugherty said.

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Ben Holbrook
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Ben Holbrook is a reporter for The Republican Journal covering general news.

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