Chesterfield County Public Schools celebrated “Fruit and Veggie Week” on Oct. 10-13 at 18 elementary schools. New fruits and vegetables were highlighted each day, and samplings were offered to more than 12,000 students during lunch. Participating schools included those that have 30 percent or higher free or reduced lunches. The program highlighted the importance of consuming fruits and vegetables and encouraged all students to try new things and make healthier choices.
In addition to this special week-long celebration, Chesterfield County Public Schools also participates in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). Currently, there are four elementary schools in Chesterfield County that receive grants to provide all students in the selected schools with a wide variety of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. Those schools are Falling Creek Elementary, Bellwood Elementary, Chalkley Elementary and Bensley Elementary. FFVP is an important tool in efforts to combat childhood obesity, and the program has been successful in introducing school children to a variety of produce.
Since 2014, Chesterfield County Public Schools has focused on integrating wellness into the classroom. The school system created the Wellness Council, which was comprised of 125 stakeholders from across the region, and many of the recommendations from the council are featured in the Design for Excellence 2020, Chesterfield County Public Schools six-year strategic plan.