For Immediate Release: July 16, 2014
Contact: Selina Ayala-Patlan, Valerie Martinez (909) 445-1001

MONTEBELLO– Students at Montebello Park and Fremont elementary schools will now have the option to snack on something fresh, nutritious and free. As recipients of the California Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) grant, the schools will be able to provide an additional free fresh fruit or vegetable snack to students during the school day, in addition to school breakfast and lunch.

The goal of the program is to continue to foster healthier school environments by providing nutritious food choices and to act as an important catalyst in efforts to combat childhood obesity. Additionally, the program will expose students to a variety of fruits and vegetables, increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption and impact the health of students now and in the future.

“Education and exposure to healthful eating habits is a top priority within Montebello Unified,” said  MUSD Board of Education President David Vela. “Whether it’s creating and maintaining school gardens, helping to sponsor community events that focus on health and physical activities, teaching students about new veggies or fruits through Nutrition Services’ Harvest of the Month and other classroom programs or by providing a healthier snack option, we are consistently seeking out ways in which we can promote the benefits of healthier food choices for our students.”

The California FFVP program emerged as a pilot in 2008 after the United States Department of Agriculture expanded its program, which began in 2002. As the USDA program sought to increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption among the nation’s youth, schools across the country began receiving federal funding to make available free and healthy alternatives to snacking.

Montebello Park and Fremont elementary schools are among 59 other schools in Los Angeles County to receive funding from the program. Schools with the highest free and reduced price school lunch enrollment gain priority and usually receive about $50 per student for the school year.

“The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program implemented at MUSD illustrates the dedication we have to obtaining resources, on the federal, state and community levels, that help us meet our priority in educating and serving the well-being of our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Cleve Pell. “We thank and commend our Nutrition Services Department for their hard work in applying for and obtaining this special funding that keeps our students healthy.”