Flint, Mich. (May 7, 2019)—At a celebratory event today at the Michigan School for the Deaf, which included Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the U.S. Apple Association (USApple) awarded students with a $4,000 Apples4Ed grant. The Michigan school was selected from numerous nationwide applications for its proposal to create a healthy snack “fueling station” for students living on campus.
“The Michigan School for the Deaf rose above other Apples4Ed applicants because of its innovative and fun approach to encourage healthy snacking,” said Michigan Apple Committee Executive Director and USApple Board Member Diane Smith, who presented the award to the school. “Not only will the funding provide students with fruits, vegetables and other wholesome foods, it will allow the school to teach students about making healthy choices that will help shape their future eating and snacking decisions.”
With funds from the Apples4Ed grant, the school plans to provide student residents with healthy snack options like whole grains, fresh fruit and sliced vegetables with peanut butter and hummus, and a yogurt and topping bar. By dubbing the new snack area as a “fueling station,” school administrators are confident that the creative and visually appealing “build your own” and “on the go” foods will encourage students to rethink their snacking habits.
“We are honored to receive this national recognition that underscores our investment in our children here in Michigan. From education to proper nutrition, we must continue to support future generations,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I commend USApple and its partners for providing this Apples4Ed grant and helping the Michigan School for the Deaf have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of its students.”
Research shows that fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins boosts energy, which in turn creates a better learning environment for students while sustaining their energy levels for after school activities.
“Apples4Ed and the efforts here at the school are great examples of what can happen when you unleash the power of partnership and creativity to address a common goal of empowering kids to lead healthier lives,” said McDowell. “It’s great to see a program that supports increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grains, which not only helps students but also supports farm families.”
The Michigan School for the Deaf was founded in 1848 by an act of the State Legislature. Today, approximately 100 students from through Michigan attend the school, one-third of which live on campus. It is the only all-inclusive bilingual American Sign Language/English school in Michigan.
The Michigan School for the Deaf was one of five grant recipients under the 2019 Apples4Ed program. Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, the Rensselaer City School District in NY, and NOVA High School in Milwaukee, WI-, also received awards. The remaining school will be publicly recognized on May 8. Applications for 2020 Apples4Ed funding will open in August.
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. To learn more, visit apples4ed.com.