MUSD Schools Receive State Funding to Provide Fresh Produce to Students
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.
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."
MUSD's Seamless Summer Food Service Program to Offer Meals to Students in the Community
From now until July 25, The Montebello Unified School District is now offering the Seamless Summer Food Service Program during summer vacation for local children who are 1 to 18 years old. The program is designed to continue providing nutritious meals free of charge to children who come from low-income communities when school is not in session.
Childhood food insecurity remains at unacceptable levels across the country and children are mostly acutely at risk in the summer months when they do not have access to school meals.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) operates summer meal programs to address this problem. Through MUSD's participation, the program is helping to ensure that those same children to not go hungry in the summer.
The Seamless Summer Option combines features of the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Summer Food Service Program. This option reduces paperwork and administrative burden to make it easier for schools to feed children from low-income areas during the traditional summer vacation periods.
"As educators, one of our priorities is ensuring our students have access to proper nutrition," said MUSD Superintendent of Schools Cleve Pell. "We thank our Nutrition Services Department and the USDA for working together to allow us to offer this option to our community's children."
For more information on this program or its serving times, please call the MUSD Nutrition Services Department at (323) 887-7978.