TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

July 2, 2012

11 schools getting healthier choices


TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer

Eleven elementary schools in the Tri-County will give their students a taste of fresh produce when classes start in August, thanks to a federal program aimed at giving schoolchildren healthy snack options.

Of the 11 schools involved, six are in the Knox County Public Schools district, while four are in the Whitley County Schools system and one elementary school is part of Laurel County Schools.

Together, the schools will get a total of $214,536.84 in federal grant money for the program. The six Knox County schools get the most of the money at $112,429.10, while $68,510.66 goes to the four Whitley County schools. The one Laurel County school participating — Hunter Hills Elementary School — will receive $33,597.08.

The Knox County schools in the program are Girdler Elementary, Flat Lick Elementary, Jesse D. Lay Elementary, Central Elementary, Dewitt Elementary and G.R. Hampton Elementary. Whitley County schools participating are Pleasant View Elementary, Whitley North Elementary, Whitley East Elementary and Boston Elementary.

Implemented through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, or FFVP, provides schoolchildren in the participating schools a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day. The program introduces fresh fruits and vegetables as a healthy choice for elementary students, and encourages partnerships with their communities to support the schools offering the vegetable and fruit options.

Some numbers-crunching shows Hunter Hills getting the biggest slice of the 11-piece Tri-County pie.

The Laurel County school’s amount of $33,597.08 is the largest individual total for the schools, while in Knox County, Central gets the most at $24,750.20. That’s followed by Girdler’s $23,223.06, while Jesse D. Lay comes in at $21,327.30, and G.R. Hampton receiving $20,484.74. Rounding out the Knox County totals are Dewitt with $12,059.14 and Flat Lick with $10,584.66.

The largest individual total for the Whitley County schools goes to Whitley North with $21,274.64. That’s followed by Pleasant View with $18,009.72, then Boston Elementary with $14,744.80 and Whitley East with $14,481.50.

According to the Kentucky Department of Education, the schools participating were picked upon submitted applications from elementary schools that operate the National School Lunch Program, and who have 50 percent or more of their students eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Schools with the highest percentage of free-and reduced-eligible students were given the highest priority.

The 11 Tri-County schools were among 125 elementary schools statewide who are part of the FFVP program. Altogether, more than 50,000 students will participate, with Kentucky getting $2.7 million in FFVP funding for the 2012-13 school year. Funding for the individual schools to operate the program is based on about $53 per student enrolled. That figure was reported in Oct. 2011.