Seventy-five elementary schools in Delaware will receive funding to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program during the 2017-18 school year.

Schools were awarded funding through a competitive application process. Each year Delaware receives a grant from USDA specifically allocated for the program. The Delaware Department of Education then must select schools to participate with priority given to schools with the highest free and reduced price enrollment.

The purpose of the program is to increase fresh fruit and fresh vegetable consumption in elementary schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program.

“This program can be an important catalyst for change in combating childhood obesity by increasing fresh fruit and vegetable consumption and encouraging healthier eating habits,” said Secretary of Education Susan Bunting.

Selected schools receive reimbursement for the cost of providing free fresh fruits and vegetables to students. These fresh fruits and vegetables must be served separately from the lunch or breakfast meal in one or more areas of the school during the official school day.

Within basic requirements, the program gives schools the flexibility to develop their own implementation plans and involve teachers and other school staff. Each school decides when, where and how to implement the program.

The Delaware Department of Education congratulated the schools that have been selected to participate in USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in Delaware for school year 2017-18: Academy of Dover, Lake Forest South Elementary, Anna P. Mote Elementary, Long Neck Elementary, Austin D. Baltz Elementary, Lulu M. Ross Elementary, Bancroft Elementary, Maple Lane Elementary, Benjamin Banneker Elementary, Marbrook Elementary, Blades Elementary, May B. Leasure Elementary, Booker T. Washington Elementary, Milton Elementary, Brookside Elementary, Mispillion Elementary, Carrcroft Elementary, N. Georgetown Elementary, Carrie Downie Elementary, N. Smyrna Elementary, Cashmir Pulaski Elementary, Nellie Hughes Stokes Elementary, Castle Hills Elementary, New Castle Elementary, Claymont Elementary, North Dover Elementary, Clayton Elementary, North Laurel Elementary, David Harlan Elementary, Oberle Elementary, Millsboro Elementary, Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary, East Dover Elementary, Phillip C. Showell Elementary, East Side Charter School, Phyllis Wheatley Elementary, Elbert Palmer Elementary, Pleasantville Elementary, Evan G. Shortlidge Elementary, Rehoboth Elementary, Evelyn I. Morris ECS, Richard A. Shields Elementary, Fairview Elementary, Richardson Park Elementary, Forest Oak Elementary, Robert S. Gallaher Elementary, Frederick Douglass Elementary, Seaford Central Elementary, Georgetown Elementary, Southern Elementary, Georgetown KNDG, South Dover Elementary, Great Oaks Charter, Stubbs Elementary, H.O. Brittingham Elementary, Terry Children’s Center, Harry O. Eisenberg Elementary, Thomas Edison Charter School, Hartly Elementary, Towne Point Elementary, Harvest Christian Academy, W. Reily Brown Elementary, Highlands Elementary, Warner Elementary, J. Ralph McIlvaine ECS, West Seaford Elementary, Kathleen H. Wilbur Elementary, William Henry Middle School, Kuumba Academy, William Lewis Elementary, Lake Forest Central Elementary, Wilmington Manor Elementary, Lake Forest East Elementary, Woodbridge ECEC and Lake Forest North Elementary.