Free Stickers for Farm to School Month!

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Lettuce help you turnip your Farm to School Programs with our berry engaging resources!

We’ve bean at it all summer creating fresh resources for you in thyme for Farm to School Month! Check out our special offer below!

Peas email or kale us at 888.455.7003 if you have any questions.

Limited Time Offer!get growing 2

Get Growing with Farm to School Bulletin Board Kit

  • Item # 910215
  • Regular Price: $24.95
  • Sale Price: $14.95
  • (price valid through 9/30/15.)

FREE roll of 200 Eat Local Stickers when you use coupon code 150901.

Expires 9/30/15.Not valid with any other offers. May not be applied to previous orders. One-time use only. Limit one free roll of stickers (#906522) per order.

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September is Fruits & Veggies-More Matters Month!

Most people know that eating fruits and vegetables is important for good health, but most of us still aren’t getting enough. This September, Learning ZoneXpress is proud to participate in Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month.

4230Eating a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits can help you:

•Lower your risk for heart disease and some types of cancer
•Maintain or reach a healthy weight
•Keep your body strong and active

Here are some ideas to help you and your family fit more fruits and vegetables into your day:

•Keep a bowl of fruit handy where the whole family can see it.
•Cut up fruits and veggies ahead of time so they’re ready for quick, healthy snacks.
•Challenge your family to try a new veggie or fruit every week.
Remember, eating more fruits and veggies
can be fun – and it’s worth it!

Our educational materials will help you explore the many health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables! Our colorful, information-filled posters, handouts, activity books and more explains the importance of eating fruits and veggies, common serving sizes, daily requirements, and offers great suggestions for ways to eat more.

Join Learning ZoneXpress and celebrate Fruits & Veggies-More Matters Month!

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USDA Grants for New School Food Service Equipment to Help Schools Dish Up Healthy Meals

Straight from the USDA

USDA Awards Grants for New School Food Service Equipment to Help Schools Dish Up Healthy Meals

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $25 million in grants to help schools purchase needed kitchen equipment as they continue to provide school lunches and breakfasts that give children the nutrition they need to learn and grow. Over 90 percent of schools report that they are successfully meeting the updated nutrition standards, serving meals with more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy, and less sodium and fat. These new grants provide additional support to schools to help them prepare meals that meet those standards.

“We know that there is still a significant unmet need for kitchen equipment in schools, and outdated equipment can make it more difficult to prepare healthy meals,” said Vilsack. “With these grants, schools will be able to get the tools they need to make the healthy choice the easy choice for America’s youngsters.”

In December, USDA awarded $11 million in grants to the District of Columbia, Guam and 14 states. For the latest round of funding, USDA will ensure all State agencies receive a proportional share of the funding. States will competitively award the funds to school districts to purchase needed equipment, giving priority to high-need schools where 50 percent or more of the enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced price meals.

Download the list of funding by state for FY13 and FY14.

The Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods ProjectThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website. – a collaboration with The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – recently released a report on school kitchen equipment needsThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website. that shows most school districts in the U.S. (88 percent) need at least one additional piece of kitchen equipment, and more than half (55 percent) need infrastructure upgrades to serve healthier meals that meet science-based nutrition standards. The report concluded: Investing in kitchens and cafeterias will help schools better serve the nutritious foods and beverages that students need.

Since 2009, USDA has provided $160 million in kitchen equipment funding to states and schools. The President’s fiscal year 2015 budget requests an additional $35 million for kitchen equipment grants. These grants are one of several ways that USDA is supporting schools as the implement the updated nutrition standards.

America’s students now have healthier and more nutritious school meals due to improved nutrition standards implemented as a result of the historic Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Other recent actions by the USDA to support schools include:

  • In February, USDA announced the availability of up to $5 million through the Farm to School grant program to increase the amount of healthy, local food in schools. In FY13, USDA awarded grants to 71 projects spanning 42 states and the District of Columbia.
  • In March, USDA announced $5.5 million in new Team Nutrition grants to support schools as they continue to provide school lunches and breakfasts that give children the nutrition they need to learn and grow. The grants focus on implementation of Smarter Lunchrooms strategies, a broad toolkit of easy-to-implement, evidence-based practices designed to increase consumption of healthier foods and decrease plate waste.
  • USDA awarded $5.6 million in grants in FY2013 to provide training and technical assistance for child nutrition foodservice professionals and support stronger school nutrition education programs, and plans to award additional grants in FY 2014.

Schools that are interested in applying for these grants should contact their state agency for further information. A list of state agency contacts is available here.

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K-12 Classroom Projects Funded

From our friends at GrantStation…

K-12 Classroom Projects Funded
Kids in Need Foundation
The Kids in Need Foundation is dedicated to engaging students in the learning process by providing grants towards the purchase of supplies for students to participate in special classroom learning experiences. Kids in Need Teacher Grants help pre-K-12 educators develop innovative learning opportunities for their students. The purpose of the grants is to provide support for classroom teachers who have meritorious ideas but lack the budget to bring them to life. Funded projects should make creative use of common teaching aids, approach the curriculum from an imaginative angle, or tie nontraditional concepts together for the purpose of illustrating commonalities. Approximately 300 to 400 grants from $100 to $500 are awarded each year. The application deadline is September 30, 2015. Visit the Foundation’s website to submit an online application.

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Stirring up MyPLate to a melting pot of flavors and cultures

international-and-cultural-food-kitRecently Dr. Katie Wilson, Deputy Under Secretary, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services wrote a blog post for the USDA on MyPLate meals with cultural flavor…

The things that make our country so great and special can be found in the diversity of the people, their ideas, and their culture. One of the ways culture is expressed is through the foods we eat. Our nation’s school meals should be no exception. More than 30 million children receive at least one nutritious meal every school day through the USDA’s National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs.

My commitment is to make sure these children have access to healthy, nutritious meals while they learn. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) has helped raise the nutritional value of the foods our children eat with meal standards that promote health during the years most critical for growing kids. The meal standards have been developed to not only offer healthy meal options, but to allow schools the flexibility to prepare meals that are familiar to kids from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Recently, I learned of several examples of this while participating in one of the Team Up for School Nutrition Success workshops that USDA provides to assist school food authorities. The goal of this training is to help schools find simple ways to meet the updated meal standards while increasing the number of children enjoying healthy and flavorful school meals. It’s no secret that children and adolescents can be finicky eaters, but there are creative ways school nutrition professionals can prepare meals to be tastier and more appealing for this tough audience.

For instance, I learned that in Puerto Rico it is common for children to eat arroz con habichuelas y carne de cerdo (rice and beans with pork). Schools are finding ways to prepare this same meal in a healthy way that satisfies the palates of children who are used to eating it at home.

We applaud the push to keep healthy and embrace the natural diversity of our country. We can all appreciate a little spice to our lives and our lunches!

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