The U.S. Apple Association in partnership with the School Nutrition Association and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture today announced the call for entries for the 2017 Apples4Ed grant program. The program, with a renewed focus and rebranded website, will award one $10,000 and two $5,000 grants to fund a healthy snacking initiative on a school campus.
“Equipping kids with what they need to be successful in the classroom starts first with nutrition, and not only at the breakfast, lunch and dinner table,” said Jim Bair, President and CEO of USApple. “Apples and other healthy snacks drive alertness, focus and energy throughout the day. With our new Apples4Ed partners, SNA and NASDA, we are on a mission to bring healthy snacking awareness to schools across the country.”
“School nutrition professionals work hard to ensure students can enjoy delicious fresh fruits and vegetables with every school meal, but sometimes snack time undermines efforts to encourage kids to eat these healthy options,” said SNA President Lynn Harvey, Ed.D., RDN, LDN, FAND, SNS. “SNA is excited to join USApple and NASDA in fostering new ideas to ensure student snacks are nutritious choices that support achievement in the classroom and at home.”
“The agriculture community has an obligation to provide students with the nutrition needed to grow our next generation of farmers, ranchers, chefs, nutritionists, and policymakers,” said NASDA President and Connecticut Commissioner of Agriculture Steven K. Reviczky. “We are thrilled to partner with the SNA and USApple to shine the spotlight on the importance of healthy snacking – and support the creative thinking happening amongst students and school leadership in communities across the U.S.”
Students, food service directors, PE teachers – anyone connected to the school – are encouraged to submit their healthy snacking idea by completing a short form found on the www.apples4ed.com site before November 30, 2017. All initiatives requesting grant funding must fall into one of three categories: hands-on-learning, event or food service. With few program parameters, creative ideas could range from a new school garden to a fitness competition and anything in between.
Schools with students enrolled from Kindergarten and/or up through 12th grade will be eligible and considered for the grant. A judging panel of representatives from USApple, SNA and NASDA will determine finalists based upon a combination of creativity, student impact, long-term viability and community involvement.
First place will be awarded a $10,000 grant and two runner-ups will each receive $5,000. Checks will be presented to the schools in person, in January and February of 2018.
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. NASDA grows and enhances agriculture by forging partnerships and creating consensus to achieve sound policy outcomes between state departments of agriculture, the federal government, and stakeholders. Learn more about NASDA at www.nasda.org.
U.S. Apple Association is the national trade association representing all segments of the apple industry. Members include 40 state and regional associations representing the 7,500 apple growers throughout the country, as well as more than 400 individual firms involved in the apple business. More information on the organization is available at USApple.org.
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 57,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. For more information on school meals, visit www.SchoolNutrition.org/SchoolMeals.