July 8, 2014
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Winners of Nutrition and Equipment Grants
SACRAMENTO—Almost 700 California public schools will be awarded more than $16 million to ensure more low-income students will receive nutritious food prepared with modern equipment, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today as he released the funding results of three grants.
"School can be one of the few places where children from low-income families may receive a healthy meal," Torlakson said. "These grants will not only help upgrade some equipment in school kitchens, but will also go to provide more fresh fruits and vegetables to students in need."
Research shows there is a clear connection between good health and learning. Healthy children miss fewer days of school, are more academically successful, more attentive and well-behaved, and more likely to graduate from high school and go to college. That's why Torlakson started his Team California for Healthy Kids initiative designed to help children be more physically active, eat nourishing food, and drink plenty of water all day.
In the latest round of funding, more than $16 million in awards were distributed to 649 schools through three programs including the School Breakfast Program and Summer Food Service Program Start-up or Expansion Grant, the 2013 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grant, and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grant.
In the School Breakfast Program and Summer Food Service Program Start-up or Expansion Grant, 77 school sites were collectively awarded more than $1 million in funding. Funds must be used to start or expand an existing School Breakfast Program serving students in kindergarten through grade twelve, or a Summer Food Service Program serving children and youth 18 years of age and under during school breaks. In order to qualify for this grant, at least 20 percent of a local educational agencies' student enrollment must be low-income. The grantees may receive up to $15,000 for each site. For a list of the grantees, visit the California Department of Education's (CDE) Funding Results: School Breakfast Program and Summer Food Service Program Start-up or Expansion Web page.
In the 2013 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grants, 205 grantees will receive $3.05 million in funding. This grant will allow school food authorities to purchase the equipment needed to serve healthier meals, meet new nutritional standards with an emphasis on more fresh fruits and vegetables, improve food safety, and expand access to students. Priority was given to those school food authorities with more low-income students and who have not previously been awarded equipment grants. The grantees may receive up to $20,000 for each school site. For a list of the grantees, visit the CDE's Funding Results: 2013 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grants Web page.
In the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grant, 367 grantees will share $11.98 million in funding. Funds must be used by elementary schools to provide students with a variety of free fresh fruit and vegetable snacks during the day, as a supplement to the school breakfast and lunch programs, and to teach students about good nutrition. Priority was given to sites where half or more of the student population is eligible for free and reduced-priced meals. Grant awards are provided in two allocations and are based on a total of $53 per student per school. For a list of the grantees, visit the CDE's Funding Results: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Web page.
For more information on how the CDE helps schools, child care programs, and other community programs provide healthy meals and snacks to children, visit the CDE's Nutrition Web page.