Falls Church, Va. (April 13, 2018)—The U.S. Apple Association (USApple) today presented its 2018 ‘Apples4Ed’ $10,000 grant to Biloxi, Miss., elementary school St. Martin North. Out of 275 applications from schools across the nation, USApple selected St. Martin North as its top grant awardee for its submission to educate students about making healthy food choices and create a healthy snack pantry. The grant was awarded to school administrators, faculty and students in a celebration that took place at the school.
“Although many other schools proposed to establish a healthy snack pantry, St. Martin North Elementary separated itself by including an education component to teach skills for making healthy choices,” said USApple President and CEO Jim Bair, who sat on the judging panel. “This school rose above many of the others because the grant money won’t only be used to buy food, but also to educate students, leading to a long-term and sustainable difference.”
Apples4Ed is a program created by USApple, in partnership with the School Nutrition Association and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, to financially award schools that encourage daily consumption of healthy, balanced snacks that positively impact student achievement, focus and fitness.
“With more than 79 percent of St. Martin North Elementary students receiving free lunch every day, there is a great need to supplement their diets with healthy snacks,” said USApple Director of Consumer Health and Media Relations Tracy Grondine, who presented the grant award to the school. “The $10,000 award will not only provide students with fruits and vegetables they otherwise might not have access to, but it will allow the school to focus on teaching students about making healthy choices in order to help shape their future eating and snacking decisions.”
The St. Martin North award celebration was attended by Jackson County School District Superintendent Dr. Barry Amacker, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michael Van Winkle and St. Martin North Principle Dr. Lisa Suarez, who applied for the grant. Students took part in a presentation highlighting the many health advantages of eating apples.
As part of USApple’s 2018 grant selection, two other schools in different areas of the country were selected for $5,000 awards. Both schools will be publically recognized in events in April. Applications for 2019 Apples4Ed funding will open in August. To learn more, visit apples4ed.com.
U.S. Apple Association is the national trade association representing all segments of the apple industry. Members include 40 state and regional associations representing the 7,500 apple growers throughout the country, as well as more than 400 individual firms involved in the apple business.