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Promoting healthy habits with fruit and vegetable snacks in the classroom

What goes well with reading and math? Pears! That’s just one example of what roughly 6,800 elementary students at Seattle Public Schools will be snacking on through a new partnership with the Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment. The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program partnership supplies students with fruit and vegetable snacks for free during the school day, outside of breakfast and lunch.

The program started during the 2018-2019 school year at nine elementary schools and has now expanded to 19 elementary schools.

Healthy snacks help support academic success

“We know there is a strong link between good nutrition and academic success,” said Katie Virga, Principal of Beacon Hill International Elementary School. “By introducing students to a variety of fruits and vegetables in the classroom, we are promoting healthy habits at an early age, and creating a healthier environment at school.”

The City-funded Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is available to schools with high rates of students who qualify for free and reduced price meals. Fruit and vegetable snack programs, like the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, compliment school meals and are designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among students at school and expose students to new fruits and vegetables.

The program is funded by revenue from the Seattle Sweetened Beverage Tax.

The Office of Sustainability & Environment is also partnering with FEEST, an organization led by youth of color in southeast and southwest Seattle, to bring healthy and culturally relevant snacks to students at Chief Sealth High School. Research shows that middle and high school students don’t have enough access to nutritious food. This three-month pilot program focuses on a student-centered approach to promote healthy snacks at school.  Results from the Chief Sealth High School pilot will help determine future program strategies to serve middle and high school students.

Learn more about the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

Learn more about the Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment.