Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Evergreen Avenue Students Eating Fruit and Vegetables

Every morning, Mrs. Mills, Evergreen Avenue School Nurse, takes a tub of food to every classroom (PreK-5) after Mrs. Campbell and the high school cafeteria staff prepare packages for delivery.

Students get excited as the cart is wheeled through the hallways delivering fresh produce to the students and staff. Since the first full week of school, all students and staff have been enjoying a daily snack of either a fruit or vegetable.

Evergreen children have been exposed to a variety of produce that they otherwise might not have had the opportunity to sample. Students have enjoyed plums, grapes, pears, carrots, pineapple, grape tomatoes, broccoli, oranges, apples and bananas -- just to name a few.

All students are encouraged to at least try the fruit or vegetable of the day. These foods are being offered in their natural state.

This opportunity has been made possible because last June the Evergreen School was awarded a grant from The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) through the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. The grant provides one school in our school community with a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables as a way of introducing healthy snack options.

Only 25 schools were awarded this grant; 98 schools applied. Evergreen is the only Gloucester County School participating.

The program’s goal is to promote healthy eating and help to combat the growing obesity issue, especially amongst our youth.

Evergreen School also has a partnership with Rutgers Cooperative Extension (NJ Food Stamp Nutrition Education). They come into the school once a month during health class and teach students about healthy nutrition.

These two programs are being combined to help promote the NJ School Wellness initiative mandated by the state.

Special thanks to Madeline Mills, the Evergreen Avenue School Nurse, and the Nutri-Serve corporation, our school lunch program provider, for their joint effort to bring the fruit and vegetable program to Evergreen.


Anonymous said...

What a great program! Having the kids exposed to these foods is half the battle towards them being healthy-eating adults. (Madeline - You look great!)

The Mitchell Family

Anonymous said...

why isn't this offered at the other elementary schools...why just Evergreen?

Joseph Jones said...

The grant was very specific in terms of qualification parameters. Also, a district was only permitted to have one school participate. Therefore, though this is a wonderful program that would benefit all schools and children, we were restricted to just Evergreen.

Barb Kimball said...

Nice job Madeline Mills and the Evergreen school lunch program staff for the efforts made to see to it that the kids are getting healthy food not only for the nourishment but for healthy eating lifestyles. Keep up the good work!