On Friday, Red Bank Primary School hosted a VIP contingent — that’s Very Impressive Produce — as the school was recognized as the winner of the state Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
Press release from NJ Dept. of Agriculture
On Friday, March 31, New Jersey Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Division Director Rose Tricario and USDA representatives presented Red Bank Primary School with the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program VIP (Very Impressive Produce) Award.
The award program highlights schools in the Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program that are doing an exceptional job at promoting fruits and vegetables and healthy lifestyles to their students. Red Bank Primary School was selected for the first place prize for providing a comprehensive program integrating the entire school community in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) and wellness activities. In addition, they serve Jersey Fresh produce and engage parent and grandparent volunteers in the FFVP preparation and students in the distribution of the snack.
Red Bank Primary School has offered the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, a federally funded initiative that provides grants to schools to provide fresh produce as snacks to students in schools where 50 percent or more of the students receive free or reduced-price lunch.
“Our students love the program and they look forward to each serving day and what will be served,” said school Principal Luigi Laugelli.
“This has been such a great opportunity for our students and families,” said school nurse Cathy Reardon. “They see me in the hallways or in my office and want to talk about fruits and vegetables. What could be better?”
Tricario presented the school with a trophy. The school also will be able to choose either a salad bar, nutrition education resources or a piece of equipment to aid in delivery of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. After the presentation, the officials visited a class to see them sample rainbow carrots.
The Department awarded $4,560,504 in grants to 203 schools in 16 counties serving 93,913 students through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2016-2017 school year. The program provides students with fresh produce as snacks during the school day to teach them about proper nutrition and increase their consumption of healthy foods. Additional funding was given to schools that purchase produce from New Jersey farmers for the program. Go here to learn more about the program.
Seen in the photo above, from left: Roberta Hodsdon, USDA Special Nutrition Program Director; Barbara Pappagallo, Red Bank Borough Public School Business Administrator; Fred Stone, Red Bank Borough Board of Education President; Janet Celi, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Coordinator; Rose Tricario, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Division Director; Nicole Tate, Red Bank Borough School Food Service Director; Dr. Jared Rumage, Red Bank Borough Schools Superintendent; and Cathy Reardon, Red Bank Primary School Nurse. Holding the banner are Red Bank Primary School students Dawid Wasik and Ayanea Montanez.