Illinois expands fruit and vegetable program for school meals

2012-07-16T14:09:00Z 2012-08-03T18:42:28Z Illinois expands fruit and vegetable program for school mealsSTAFF REPORTS stltoday.com
July 16, 2012 2:09 pm  • 

The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that 267 schools in Illinois will participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program during the 2012-13 school year.

The schools, both public and private that already participate in the National School Lunch Program, will share equally in more than $4.9 million, up from last year’s grant amount of $4.7 million that served 215 schools, according to a news release.

The program requires participating schools to allocate between $50 to $75 per enrolled student, with the majority of those funds being spent on fresh produce. Program funding runs through June 30.

The USDA first piloted the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in 2002 and it was expanded to include all states for the 2008-09 school year. More than 400 schools statewide applied for the 2012-13 grant.

Each school will be reimbursed on a monthly basis for allowable expenses up to the school’s total awarded amount. The fresh produce purchased under this program cannot be used to replace fruits or vegetables already being served to students at breakfast or lunch.

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