BOULDER, Colo., Feb. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Education is the key to success. It's why we invest so much time into teaching our kids math, and science, and social studies. But why aren't we teaching them how to eat? Why not invest in teaching them about nutrition and healthy eating habits?
Through a generous donation from the Walmart Foundation, 100 schools will get the chance to do just that through a program called Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools. Chef Ann Foundation (CAF), an organization dedicated to improving school food in America, operates the grant program to help schools increase kids' access to fresh fruits and vegetables and provide nutrition education through fun lunchroom learning activities.
"Nutrition education programming is key to children's healthy eating," remarks Mara Fleishman, Chef Ann Foundation's CEO. "And in a nation where childhood obesity and diet-related disease are common realities for many young Americans, this grant opportunity could not come at a more opportune time."
One in three children in this country are either overweight or obese, and this generation of kids is predicted to die at younger ages than their parents due to diet-related disease. According to the C.D.C., from 2007-2010 60% of children didn't eat enough fruit to meet daily recommendations, and 93% didn't eat enough vegetables. These startling facts demand a healthy change for our country.
Over 30 million children eat school lunch each day, and 71.5% of them come from disadvantaged households. Healthy food at school significantly impacts children's access to nutritious food, especially those who qualify for free and reduced priced school meals. And nutrition education that includes samplings of fresh fruits and vegetables helps kids accept and enjoy the foods that are key for good health.
"Grants like this really help support doing something different, and forced us to think outside the box. Project Produce gave us the opportunity to have meaningful food experiences with kids and allowed food service to become an extension to education," reports Shelly Allen, Food Service Director from St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont, Colorado. They received their Project Produce funds in 2014. To date, Project Produce has helped 41 schools purchase fresh produce for their nutrition education efforts, helping 21,399 students learn to not only eat their fruits and veggies, but to like them. Click here for a full listing of current Project Produce grantees.
About the Program:
Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools is a grant program designed to help create experiential nutrition education when and where students make their food choices: in the cafeteria. Launched in 2014 by Chef Ann Foundation and superfoods company Healthy Skoop, the $2,500 one-year grants support food costs to incorporate school-wide fruit and vegetable tastings into the school's nutrition program.
Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply. Districts may apply for grants for up to 10 schools. There is no deadline and grants will be administered on a rolling basis.
For more information and to submit your application, please visit: http://www.chefannfoundation.org/programs-and-grants/project-produce/
About Chef Ann Foundation
Chef Ann Foundation is a non-profit organization that believes every child should have access to fresh, healthy food every day so that they can develop healthy eating habits to last a lifetime. CAF thinks the greatest impact can be had through changing school food. By providing school communities with tools, training, resources and funding through their flagship program The Lunch Box, CAF is able to help schools create healthier food and redefine lunchroom environments. To date, CAF has reached 5,947 schools and over 2,469,273 children.
Marketing & Education Manager
Chef Ann Foundation
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SOURCE Chef Ann Foundation