Four Ottumwa schools were again selected to participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Program. The program provides all children in participating schools with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Due to COVID-19, all items will be served in addition to the regular lunch serving four days a week.
Ottumwa’s total allocation is over $80,000 for the four schools, including Douma, Liberty, James, and Wilson. The allocation reflects the number of students enrolled in the school, the number of days snack is provided, and the district’s previous utilization of grant funds. Yvonne Johnson, the district’s Director of Food and Nutrition Services, feels strongly about this program and the benefit to students. Through the efforts of Johnson and other school nutrition professionals advocating the importance of the program, the USDA funded the program for another year.
Ottumwa serves fruits and vegetables to students in the afternoon. “As this program grows in popularity, the supply for offering new and different items also grows,” said Johnson. “My vendor does an excellent job of resourcing products that our grown in the USA and available to families at the grocery store so when a child tries it at school, the family can then purchase it at the local grocery store and serve it at home. It is a win for everyone."