LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—Franklin and Hintgen Elementary Schools received a grant to help provide healthy snacks to their students; the La Crosse schools are two of 178 schools participating in the program statewide.
It's not the first year for the grant, but Franklin Principal Laura Huber said she's glad they got it again.
The programs goal is to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among students, in schools that have more than 56 percent of students on free and reduced meal programs, by providing free fresh fruits and vegetables to students.
It gives students the opportunity to try fruits and vegetables they might not get at home.
Thursday, the children had jicama and milk for their afternoon snack.
"I like trying new foods that I don't always get to have at home. Some of the new foods that I've had here are actually pretty good," Caleb Miller, Franklin Third Grader said.
"I like the milk because it cools me down and I like the chocolate milk because I like chocolate," Justin Baaler, Franklin Third Grader said.
Principal Huber has even heard from parents that kids are asking for vegetables they tried at school at home.
Wisconsin's share of the $150 million available nationwide through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is just over $3 million.
"Offering children a nutritious snack that builds healthy eating habits is a double win for our schools and families," State Superintendent Tony Evers said. "Fewer children will hit the hunger slump that pulls their attention away from their school lessons, and more kids will sample foods they may not otherwise encounter, building a foundation for healthier food choices beyond this grant program."
During the 2011-12 Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, participating Wisconsin schools averaged 100 snack days during the school year.
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