Federal Funding Program To Benefit NJ School Students
TRENTON, NJ – Three Monmouth County school districts have been awarded federal grants totaling $26,919 to purchase, renovate or replace equipment to enhance their delivery of the National School Lunch Program.
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is administering the United States Department of Agriculture Fiscal Year 2010 Food Service Equipment Assistance Grant, which allocated $463,000 to 60 schools in 43 school districts in 14 counties around the state for the improvements. In Monmouth County, Bet Yaakov of the Jersey Shore, CPC Behavioral Healthcare- High Point School and Highlands School District are receiving the grants.
“This federal funding will directly improve our schools’ capabilities to feed New Jersey school children nutritious, safe meals,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “The equipment that will be purchased will improve energy efficiency, enhance the quality of food service and increase participation in the meal programs.”
The grants are part of a one-time appropriation, similar to last year’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Food Service Equipment Assistance Grants, designed to improve lunch program infrastructure. The funds must be used to purchase, renovate, or replace equipment that is nonexpendable, tangible personal property with a useful life of more than one year and a minimum per unit acquisition cost of $2,000.
To be selected as grant recipients, more than 50 percent of the students in the school had to be eligible for free or reduced-price meals and the school could not have received a grant in last year’s ARRA grant program. Eligible schools’ applications were then evaluated based on infrastructure need and impacting the greatest number of students.
This grant funding provides needed assistance for schools to upgrade their food service equipment infrastructure that in some cases had not been upgraded or replaced in 30 years. Equipment slated to be purchased with this year’s grants include refrigerators, freezers, hot holding cabinets, convection ovens, ranges, tilting skillets and walk-in refrigerators and/or freezers.
More than 673,000 students participate in the school lunch program in 2,694 schools in the state on a daily basis.
To view the list of grant recipients, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/pdf/EquipAwards2010.pdf.