Perdue grant provides Good Food School Markets to Harrisonburg and Broadway high schools

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 3:06 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — A $100,000 grant from Perdue has allowed the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (BRAFB) partner with Harrisonburg High School and Broadway High School to provide Good Food School Markets.

Michael McKee, the CEO for BRAFB, said that the markets provide fresh foods to students and their families throughout the school year. Students visit the markets and pick out what food they want to take home.

“They realize, too that the health needs, the nutrition needs of high school students really are significant, you know. They’re still developing, still growing, bodies growing at a faster rate, a lot of demands in school,” McKee said.

Harrisonburg High School started its market in a mobile unit in November.

“We recognize that many of our students rely on school meals to meet their nutritional needs. We are grateful for this partnership with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, which has allowed us to supplement our meals with additional healthy foods, both during the regular school year and the COVID-19 closure,” said Andrea Early, executive director of school nutrition for Harrisonburg City Public Schools.

Broadway High School was set to launch its Good Food School Market the same week that schools shut down due to COVID-19.

Jennifer Knick, the assistant principal at Broadway High School said that since they were not able to do the pantry in person, faculty started packing food boxes every two weeks and deliver them to the students.

“Just giving them some security in the thought that food should not be an issue for them and that is not what should be first priority on their minds, so that they can then focus on their education. That’s our goal,” Knick said.

Since the schools shut down, Broadway High School has since installed shelving and refrigeration units in the school for the pantry in preparation for students when they return.

Michael McKee said that these two programs are a pilot and the food bank hopes to be able to implement more Good Food School Market programs.

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