OAKLAND, Calif., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The makers of Hidden Valley® Salad Dressings today awarded 10 elementary schools each with a $10,000 Love Your Veggies™ nutrition grant to support programs aiming to increase access to and consumption of fresh produce at school meals during the 2010-2011 school year. Now in its fourth year, the Hidden Valley® Love Your Veggies™ school grant program has awarded $850,000 to nearly 80 elementary schools nationwide to help fund the implementation of fresh fruit and vegetable education programs in the lunchroom and in the classroom.
In partnership with the School Nutrition Foundation, the Love Your Veggies™ school grant program was established following the 2004 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, which required school districts to adopt local school wellness policies to strengthen nutrition and exercise programs(1). The larger Love Your Veggies™ program, created after a study found that children tend to eat more vegetables when paired with a moderate amount of ranch dressing, also provides support to moms in the form of recipes, tools and tips to help their families enjoy more vegetables(2).
"We know that 31 million American children eat lunch at school and that improving nutritional offerings in the lunchroom is increasingly a priority," said Priscilla Tuan, brand manager for Hidden Valley® products.(3) "We're excited to contribute by offering these schools additional resources to provide well-balanced meals and nutrition programs that are crucial to teaching children how to develop life-long nutritional eating habits."
In addition to these ten grants, the Love Your Veggies™ grant program also awarded a $10,000 grant to St. Lawrence Catholic Church & School in Indianapolis, Ind. through a Twitter contest that ran Sept. 21-Oct. 2. Elementary schools were asked to tweet their 140 character application to @HVRanch and then launch a re-tweet campaign for their chance to win.
Winning Schools Showcase Creative Ideas for Nutrition Programs
More than 400 applications were received and 10 recipients were chosen based on financial need, creativity and innovation of the proposed vegetable program, the programs' ability to make a sustainable impact on students as well as its potential for community involvement.
The winning schools and programs include:
- Agua Fria Elementary School in Santa Fe, New Mexico: Will allow students the opportunity to work with The Community Farm, a non-profit organization, to grow their own fresh, organic produce.
- West Bendle Elementary School in Burton, Mich.: Will help students develop healthy eating habits by providing samples of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, working in their raised-bed garden and learning to cook using fresh produce.
- Hillside Elementary School in San Leandro, Calif.: Will work with educators to use the existing garden as an outdoor classroom and to implement a healthy snack regimen.
- Veterans Park Academy for Arts in Lehigh Acres, Fla.: Will involve students by having them grow and maintain a vegetable garden, take weekly nutrition classes and learn to use fresh fruits and veggies in the kitchen.
- Northport School District 211 in Northport, Wash.: Will provide students hands-on experience from planting seeds all the way through to consuming fresh produce.
- PS 6 West Farms School in New York, N.Y.: Will expose students to unique fruits and vegetables by incorporating them into a new, healthy menu item each week.
- Chappell Elementary School in Green Bay, Wis.: Will grant students access to a fresh salad bar in the lunchroom and provide a fresh fruit or vegetable snack daily.
- Carson School in Cincinnati, Ohio: Will educate students with nutrition lessons and engage them in an after-school program that will create excitement about vegetables and encourage best nutrition practices.
- John C. Martinez Elementary School in Parlier, Calif.: Will allow the students to learn about and taste test a new fruit or vegetable every month.
- Shonto Preparatory School in Shonto, Ariz.: Will use existing garden and greenhouse to grow vegetables and allow access to fresh produce year round.
For more on the Love Your Veggies™ campaign and how the grant recipients will implement their winning programs, visit www.LoveYourVeggies.com.
About Hidden Valley®
The HV Food Products Company is a subsidiary of The Clorox Company, headquartered in Oakland, Calif. Clorox is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products with fiscal year 2009 revenues of $5.5 billion. Clorox markets some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Green Works® natural cleaners, Armor All® and STP® auto-care products, Fresh Step® and Scoop Away® cat litter, Kingsford® charcoal, Hidden Valley® and K C Masterpiece® dressings, sauces and marinades, Brita® water-filtration systems, Glad® bags, wraps and containers, and Burt's Bees® natural personal care products. With 8,300 employees worldwide, the company manufactures products in more than two dozen countries and markets them in more than 100 countries. Clorox is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where its employees work and live. Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has awarded cash grants totaling more than $77 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. In fiscal 2008 alone, the foundation awarded $3.6 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $7.8 million. For more information about Clorox, visit www.TheCloroxCompany.com.
About the School Nutrition Foundation
The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) empowers professional growth through the education, research, and scholarship it provides School Nutrition Association (SNA) members. Along with SNA, the Foundation's number one priority is helping school nutrition professionals run successful and effective school nutrition programs and comply with USDA regulations. The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children's health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.
(1) Congress passed the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, which requires that by the first day of the 2006 school year, each school district participating in the National School Lunch Program adopt local school wellness policies with the goal of improving children's health and reducing childhood obesity by expanding the availability of nutritious meals and snacks to more children in schools while also promoting increased activity. Policies should encourage consumption of healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables.
(2) 2006 study of two Northern California elementary schools conducted by the University of California Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and the Butte County Cooperative Extension.
(3) USDA Child Nutrition Program, Agriculture Secretary Discusses Importance of Addressing Child Hunger, Health and Nutrition
SOURCE Hidden Valley