Five Ocean County and Eight Monmouth County schools are among 157 across the state who are participating in the New Jersey Department of Agriculture's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program which will provide fresh produce to students during the school day as well as a nutritional education, announced Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher.

The United States Department of Agriculture has allocated $4,466,443 to New Jersey for this school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, to provide fresh produce to more than 79,000 students in 14 counties during the school day and provide students with a nutritional education.

Fisher said that the goal of the program is to introduce children to healthy foods, increase their fruit and vegetable consumption, and encourage improved lifelong dietary habits.

“The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program creates a great amount of enthusiasm for students to try new offerings to further develop healthy eating habits that will benefit them long into the future,” Fisher said.

Additional funds will be allocated to schools for connecting their FFVP with the Farm to School Program.

The schools must provide Jersey Fresh produce a minimum of two days each month from September to November and from April to June and must verify where the produce was grown.

Seventy-nine percent of the 157 schools have agreed to link their FFVP and Farm to School Program.

Some of the criteria used in selecting the schools to participate in FFVP include elementary schools with 50 percent or more of their students eligible for free or reduced-price meals, schools that planned to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables as much as possible, all students having access to the produce offered and plans to partner with outside organizations to enhance nutrition education.

Here are the Jersey Shore schools participating in the program.

  • Barack Obama Elementary School.
  • Asbury Park Bradley Elementary School.
  • Asbury Park Amerigo A. Anastasia School.
  • George L. Catrambone School.
  • Gregory School.
  • Lenna W. Conrow School.
  • Morris Avenue School.
  • Red Bank Primary School, Red Bank.
  • Clifton Avenue Grade School.
  • Lakewood Early Childhood Center 2.
  • Oak Street School.
  • Piner Elementary School.
  • Spruce Street School.
  • Hugh J. Boyd, Jr. Elementary School.

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