USDA approves school nutrition grant, rural development loans for Virginia

USDA approves school nutrition grant, rural development loans for Virginia

May 30, 2022 0 By Tyler Arnold

The USDA approved nearly $1 million for a Virginia grant to assist with food and nutrition services in public schools and more than $9 million worth of rural development loans to two Virginia programs.

A $982,827 grant to the Virginia Department of Education will help the department with their nutrition staff to implement meal pattern standards for schools in the next year, according to a USDA news release. The grant is called the “Team Nutrition Training Grant for School Nutrition Professional Readiness and Retention.”

The VDOE will use the grants to fund a training program for 150 school nutrition directors and more than 2,000 frontline cafeteria managers, according to VDOE Director of School Nutrition Programs Sandra Curwood. The VDOE will also provide sub-grants to school food authorities in the state, which will help them make menu changes to meet federal standards for their lunch and breakfast programs.

“School meals are a proven approach to improving nutrition security,” USDA Food and Nutrition Services Administrator Cindy Long said in a statement.

“Research shows they are the most nutritious foods most children receive in the day,” Long said. “USDA and the Biden-Harris Administration are committed to prioritizing nutrition security – consistent access to healthy, affordable foods and beverages that promote good health. While it’s not easy to alter eating habits and schools face hurdles to improving nutrition, the future payoffs of even incremental changes are extraordinary, and schools have shown that it is possible when we work together.”

Seven other states received similar grants.

The USDA also approved more than $9 million in loans to Virginia programs, which are meant to support rural businesses.

Slightly more than $5 million will be awarded through the Business and Industry Loan Guarantees program to purchase equipment for clean, renewable and sustainable energy. The loan will go to Waverly RB SPE LLC.

Another $4.3 million in a Business and Industry Loan Guarantees program funding will go to Wilderness-Stuart Inc. The loan will help consolidate and refinance Wilderness-Stuart Inc. and Woods Gap Land & Timber LLC debts.

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