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Three Cabarrus County schools have received a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the 2019-20 school year.

Students at Royal Oaks, W.M. Irvin and Wolf Meadow elementary schools can enjoy a fruit or vegetable snack three to five days per week thanks to the federally funded program.

The district stands to receive about $76,000 in federal funding via the program.

The goal of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is to introduce children to fresh fruits and vegetables, to include new and different varieties and to increase overall acceptance and consumption of fresh, unprocessed produce among children.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program also encourages healthier school environments by promoting nutrition education.

The program is consistent with and supports the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s recommendations to provide healthier snack choices in schools.

Elementary schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are eligible to participate.

Schools must operate the National School Lunch Program to operate the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program prioritizes schools with the highest percentage of children certified as eligible for free and reduced-price meals.

This is because children from low-income families generally have fewer opportunities to consume fresh produce on a regular basis.

The program is administered at each school by the School Nutrition Program in partnership with school administrators.

Visit the FFVP webpage at https://www.fns.usda.gov/ffvp/fresh-fruit-and-vegetable-program.

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