July 16, 2013
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Grants to Help Students get Nutritious Food at School
SACRAMENTO—Hundreds of school sites across California will share more than $12.5 million in state and federal grants to provide nutritious food to students while also supporting local farmers and the local economies, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.
"Students too preoccupied with hunger don't learn as well as well-nourished children," Torlakson said. "Often the only place students—especially ones from economically disadvantaged households—can get nutritious food is at school. These grants will help ensure hungry children have access to good food all during the school day to help nourish their growing bodies and minds."
Good nutrition and physical activity are key components of Torlakson's Team California for Healthy Kids initiative. Research shows there is a clear connection between health, learning, and attendance in school.
Three hundred sixty-seven school sites in the state will share $11.4 million in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grants. This grant is authorized by National School Lunch Act (Section 19) and provides funding to eligible elementary school sites to offer students a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks during the school day. The snack must be provided separately from the school breakfast and lunch programs. The school sites must make free fresh fruits and vegetables available to all enrolled children, publicize the availability of these foods, and document support of various local school officials. The grant encourages schools to partner with community groups to support their efforts to teach students about good nutrition.
Eligible grantees included public school districts, county offices of education, direct-funded charter schools, private schools, and residential child care institutions that are School Food Authorities. Grantees were selected because they were elementary school sites, participated in the National School Lunch Program, half or more of their students were eligible for free or reduced-price meals, and met other criteria. For a complete list of the 367 grant sites throughout California, see the Funding Results: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (XLS) spreadsheet.
Another 82 school sites in California will share more than $1 million in School Breakfast Program and Summer Food Service Program Start-up or Expansion grants. This grant is authorized by California Education Code (Section 49550.3) and provides funding to start or expand a School Breakfast Program for students in kindergarten through grade twelve. The funding may also be used to start or expand a Summer Food Service Program for children up to 18 years old during school breaks.
Eligible grantees included school districts, direct-funded charter schools, and county offices of education. The grantees were eligible to participate in the School Breakfast and Summer Food Service Programs, because at least 20 percent of enrolled students at the school site were approved for free or reduced-price meals and the site met other program eligibility criteria. For a complete list of the 82 grant sites throughout California, see the Funding Results: School Breakfast Program and Summer Food Service Program Start-up or Expansion (XLS) spreadsheet.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100