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Fresh fruit and vegetable program returns to five VPS schools

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable ProgramMangos, blackberries, rainbow carrots, mini sweet peppers and star fruit are a sampling of the fresh fruits and vegetables students will be snacking on at five elementary schools in Vancouver Public Schools. VPS was awarded $120,600 by the United States Department of Agriculture for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

The program will be offered at Fruit Valley, Martin Luther King, Peter S. Ogden, Eleanor Roosevelt and Washington elementary schools beginning in September. Students will be offered a snack of a fresh fruit or vegetable in their classrooms four days a week.

This is the seventh year of the program in VPS. Since the 2010-11 school year, the district has received over  $710,000 to provide fresh fruit and vegetable snacks to all students enrolled in qualifying schools.

One goal of the program is to introduce students to fruits and vegetables they may not otherwise have an opportunity to try. The program also is considered an important catalyst in combatting childhood obesity by teaching healthful eating habits.