Local students get to snack on fresh fruit because of a federal program

An assortment of fruits and vegetables. (Photo courtesy of Honolulu Media/Flickr)

Mitch Borden/KMXT

The Kodiak Island Borough School District provides a variety of healthy snacks to some of its students through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Like:

“Bananas, or apples, or oranges, or pears, or grapes, or cherries, or strawberries, we’ve had snap peas before.”

Leon Wallace, the district’s Food Service Director, says the district has been participating in the federal program for nine years.

Schools qualify for funding to provide fruits and veggies to students if a large percent of the children receive free or reduced meals from the school. Wallace says the program’s a great way to introduce kids to quality produce. Especially, since it can be hard to come by, for some, in Kodiak.

“I don’t think a lot of our students get the fresh fruit and or vegetables because of the price of them in town.”

The program tries to help students develop healthy habits from an early age says Wallace.

Right now, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program brings produce to North Star, Main, and East elementary schools in Kodiak. It’s also spreading produce out to schools in Akhiok, Larsen Bay, Old Harbor, and Ouzinkie. Wallace says it’s especially important to send fresh fruit and vegetables to schools that are off the road system.

“A lot of our rural sites don’t get fresh fruit at all. They get canned or frozen. So this is to help them expose them to, you know, as fresh as we can get it to them.”

Tonight, at the School District’s Board of Education regular meeting, it will decide whether it will accept a grant of about $31,000 from the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to help local schools provide quality produce to students through May of 2018.

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