From left: Jerome Dunn Elizabeth School No. 9 principal Yalitza Torres, NJDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program coordinator Janet Celi, NJDA secretary Douglas Fisher, NJDA food and nutrition division director Rose Tricario, Jerome Dunn Academy No. 9 physical education teacher Lacey Mc Conkey and USDA acting branch chief for School Nutrition Programs Monique Feeney.

Schools and Trenton in Hamilton have been selected to participate in the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). In total, 144 schools across the state are participating during the 2018-2019 school year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has allocated $4,012,960 for New Jersey for this school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which provides fresh produce to more than 73,000 students in 13 counties during the school day. The students also will receive nutrition education.

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

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.

The participating schools from Mercer County are:
  • Greenwood Elementary School, Hamilton
  • Franklin Elementary School, Trenton
  • Grant Elementary School, Trenton
  • Gregory Elementary School, Trenton
  • Martin Luther King School, Trenton
  • Mott Elementary School, Trenton
  • Parker Elementary School, Trenton
  • PJ Hill Elementary, Trenton
  • Harrison Elementary School, Trenton
  • Washington Elementary School, Trenton
  • Wilson Elementary School, Trenton