Coachella, Calif. -

Several Coachella Valley Schools have received part of a $11.1 million dollar grant from the federal government to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

“Students who don’t have enough nutritious food to eat can have a tough time succeeding in school,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said. “As part of my Team California for Healthy Kids initiative, we are working to help improve their health and physical fitness—which in turn is linked to academic success. Not only will these grants provide fresh fruits and vegetables to elementary school kids, they will also help the local economy by encouraging schools to buy produce from local farmers.”

The federal FFVP offers competitive grants to eligible elementary school sites. The program is designed to provide students with a variety of free fresh fruit and vegetable snacks throughout the school day as a supplement to the school breakfast and lunch programs. It is also designed to teach students about good nutrition. Recipients are encouraged to form partnerships with the fruit and vegetable industry and groups that promote children’s health to support their efforts.

Eligible applicants include elementary schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program and have 50 percent or more of their students eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Applicants are funded based upon the percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals, with priority given to the highest percentage. This year, the California Department of Education (CDE) was able to fund schools that had 85.28 percent or more eligible students. Upon receipt of a FFVP grant, schools must provide a free fresh fruit or vegetable snack during the school day at least three times per week to all enrolled students.

Funding is given in two allocations. The first was on July 1, 2012, and the second will be on October 1, 2012. Grant funding was allocated at $55 per student and ranges from $2,750 to $66,000 per school.

Below is a list of local schools that have been awarded the grant.

Riverside
Coachella Valley Unified School District
Cesar Chavez Elementary
$4,620.00
$46,467.04

Riverside
Coachella Valley Unified School District
Coral Mountain Academy
$4,890.00
$49,182.65

Riverside
Coachella Valley Unified School District
John Kelley Elementary
$3,265.00
$32,838.72

Riverside
Coachella Valley Unified School District
Las Palmitas Elementary
$3,890.00
$39,124.85

Riverside
Coachella Valley Unified School District
Mecca Elementary
$4,210.00
$42,343.34

Riverside
Coachella Valley Unified School District
Palm View Elementary
$3,340.00
$33,593.06

Riverside
Coachella Valley Unified School District
Peter Pendleton Elementary
$3,600.00
$36,208.08

Riverside
Coachella Valley Unified School District
Saul Martinez Elementary
$6,005.00
$60,397.09

Riverside
Coachella Valley Unified School District
Valle del Sol Elementary
$3,600.00
$36,208.08

Riverside
Coachella Valley Unified School District
Valley View Elementary
$4,115.00
$41,387.85

Riverside
Coachella Valley Unified School District
Westside Elementary
$2,890.00
$29,067.05