La Paloma South selected for program to provide healthy snacks t - Tucson News Now

La Paloma South selected for program to provide healthy snacks to students

(Source: La Paloma Academy South Campus) (Source: La Paloma Academy South Campus)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Thanks to grant funds from the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), La Paloma Academy's South campus will now be able to purchase healthy snacks for all of their students. 

According to a recent news release, La Paloma Academy South Campus is just one of 110 schools chosen by the Arizona Department of Education, from across the state to participate in this program. The snacks will be provided to students free of charge.  

"We are extremely pleased that the Arizona Department of Education chose La Paloma South to be a part of this important program," said Raena Janes, charter holder of La Paloma Academy, in the recent news release. "My goal has always been to build a solid educational foundation for every child and to provide each student with all the tools necessary to be successful in life. One of the most important things we can give our students is an awareness of good nutrition and healthy eating so they can enjoy long, illness-free, productive lives."

The FFVP began as a pilot program in 2002, offered to a limited number of states and schools. The program’s purpose was to identify best practices for increasing fresh fruit and vegetable consumption among students, to determine students’ interest, and to examine the feasibility of expanding the program on a national level.

Goals of the FFVP are to:

  • Create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices
  • Expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience
  • Increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption
  • Make a difference in children’s diets to impact their present and future health

Knowing the importance of proper nutrition on child development, Janes said, “We have four additional schools in our charter—Liberty Traditional in Phoenix and Douglas, and Heritage Elementary in Glendale and Williams. In the future, I would like to see all seven schools chosen to participate in this program. The health of our students is vital. Anything we can do now to help them develop good eating habits will improve their lives for decades to come.”

As a result of its popularity, the FFVP was expanded to all 50 states in 2008, and is administered on the federal level by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services. At the state level, the Arizona Department of Education chooses the grant recipients each year and distributes the allocated federal grant money.

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