After starting a federal program to bring more fresh fruits and vegetables to some Charlottesville schools healthy eating habits are catching on beyond the classroom. More and more kids are telling their parents about healthier alternatives.
Thanks to a grant from the USDA, Clark, Jackson-Via and Johnson elementary schools in Charlottesville receive fresh produce.
The Local Food Hub in Charlottesville works with 40 farms in central Virginia to bring the healthy snacks to schools.
Alan Moore, the director of sales and operations for the Local Food Hub said, "From red and yellow and green bell peppers to carrots to heirloom cherry tomatoes to spring mix and lettuce so a wide variety of different things".
The kids get a healthy snack each day and they're even learning about where the food comes from. Alan Moore said, "We like to share information both about where it's grown and then give them educational materials that they can take home to their parents to say this is what a blackberry is and these are some recipes on how to prepare it."
According to Johnson Elementary Principal Vernon Bock, the program is catching on. "I think it's really changed our culture in the building towards eating habits, we see a lot of our students try new things that at first were reluctant to try," he said.
Johnson Elementary School has even started a parent advisory committee to improve student nutrition at school and at home. Bock said, "And part of that is providing chef demonstrations on a monthly basis to our families and then students can shop for those items right here at Johnson, take the recipe home and recreate it with their family."
The local food hub provides fresh produce to about 45 public schools including those in Albemarle, Greene, and Nelson County.