New grant will soon give Richmond students healthier food option - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

New grant will soon give Richmond students healthier food options

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Lunchtime can be a hard time for students at Miles Jones Elementary, because there are a lot of tasty, yet healthy items on the menu each day.

However, the selection is mainly all about fruits and vegetables.

"Our bodies require a variety of nutrients, and that only comes through eating a variety of foods," said Richmond Public Schools nutrition director Susan Roberson.

Students throughout Richmond Public Schools will soon see even more of a variety of healthy foods, thanks to a recent grant.

Roberson recently helped the school system receive a $45,000 USDA "Farm-To-School" planning grant.

The school system will now use that money to sit down with its various partners to come up with ways to get more healthy, local foods into the schools.

The plan could benefit area farmers, as well as distributors to drop off the fresh food each day to each school.The plan could also require creating new local jobs.

"With some of our fresh fruits and vegetables, they are going to need to be harvested and made in a way that we can use them. If we have crops that need to be flash frozen, we are going to need some vendors to get out there and do that process for us because we don't have the equipment in our schools to flash freeze," said Roberson.

She says parts of the new Farm-to-School program will go into effect in Richmond Public School cafeterias next school year, creating healthier options for healthier futures.

Richmond Public Schools is one out of only two school districts statewide to receive the USDA "Farm-To-School" grant, and RPS is already working on another grant. If it gets it, students will soon see salad bars in schools districtwide.

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