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For Immediate Release: April 2, 2008
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

More kids to get fresh fruits, vegetables during school day

South Dakota will add 25 sites to its Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2008-09 school year. The program currently serves about 4,000 students in 10 schools on the Pine Ridge Reservation. With the additional 25 sites, the number of students served will reach nearly 10,000 at locations statewide.

Participating agencies receive funds to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to their students throughout the school day. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the South Dakota Department of Education’s Child and Adult Nutrition Services.

“We’re very excited for the agencies chosen to participate. Their applications reflect a sincere commitment to helping students develop healthy eating habits for a lifetime,” said Sandra Kangas, who oversees the Child and Adult Nutrition Services program in South Dakota.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program aims to increase student consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, introduce students to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and encourage students to make healthier choices in their diets. According to federal guidelines, priority is given to agencies with 50 percent or more students receiving free or reduced-price meals and those with a non-federal partnership in place.

The additional sites for 2008-09 include:

Bennett County School District – Martin Grade School

Children’s Care Hospital and School, Sioux Falls

Enemy Swim Day School, Waubay

Eureka School District

Flandreau Indian School

Frederick Area School District

Gayville-Volin School District

Hyde School District – Highmore Elementary

Kadoka Area School District – Interior

Kadoka Area School District – Kadoka

Kadoka Area School District – Midland

Pierre School District – McKinley Elementary

Rapid City School District – Canyon Lake Elementary

Rapid City School District – General Beadle Elementary

Rapid City School District – Knollwood Elementary

Sioux Falls Children’s Home – Loving School

Sisseton School District – Middle School

Sisseton School District – Westside Elementary

Spearfish School District – Middle School

Spearfish School District – West Elementary

Summit School District – Summit Elementary

Volunteers of America-Dakotas – Group Care

Wagner School District

Wall School District

White Lake School District – White Lake Elementary

The federal government recently gave all states access to the program. Previously, South Dakota had access only through a limited number of tribal schools.