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B.C. expands fruit, veggie program


May 20, 2011
By B.C. Ministry of Agriculture

Topics

May 20, 2011, Courtenay,
BC – More B.C. children will have access to fresh, B.C.-grown fruit and
vegetable snacks in the classroom thanks to a $3-million expansion of the B.C.
School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program, Premier Christy Clark
announced.

May 20, 2011, Courtenay,
BC – More B.C. children will have access to fresh, B.C.-grown fruit and
vegetable snacks in the classroom thanks to a $3-million expansion of the B.C.
School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program
, Premier Christy Clark
announced.

The School Fruit and
Vegetable Nutritional Program
was created in partnership with the Ministries of
Health, Agriculture, and Education and is led by the B.C. Agriculture in the
Classroom Foundation
.

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Starting in September
2011 through the 2012-13 school year, the program will be available to all B.C.
public schools and will expand from the current 1,172 public schools to 1,402
schools, which includes most public and First Nations schools in British
Columbia. In addition, $2.5 million from the Ministry of Health’s healthy
eating in schools budget has been allocated to support student access to fruit
and vegetables for the next two years. One-time grants will also be available
to schools to purchase fridges and salad bar equipment to support local
solutions to increase fruit and vegetable access for students.

Each school year,
enrolled schools receive delivery of fruits or vegetables once every two weeks
13 times during the school year. Apples, blueberries, carrots and mini
cucumbers are among the many healthy snacks that children receive through the
program.  All of the fruits and vegetables provided in the classroom are
grown in British Columbia.

The program promotes
B.C.-grown produce and provides business to 11 different suppliers,
representing over 400 B.C. growers. Produce is distributed by the Overwaitea
Food Group
, Saputo Dairy Products Canada, Dynamex Couriers, Bayview Market and
Papason Trucking Ltd.

Studies show that
children and adolescents between the ages of two and 17 who eat at least five
servings of fruits and vegetables a day are substantially less likely to be
overweight or obese than those with less frequent fruit and vegetable
consumption. Fifty-nine per cent of Canadian children and adolescents consume
less than the recommended number of fruit and vegetable servings per day.

For more information on
the B.C. School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program, please visit: http://www.aitc.ca/bc/.