U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline announced Monday that Rhode Island received $93,191 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help schools purchase new kitchen equipment to better prepare school meals for students.
"When our schools lack the right equipment to prepare good, healthy meals, schoolchildren lose," said Cicilline. "Children deserve to eat nutritious meals that will help them grow and focus, and I am glad Rhode Island was awarded these federal funds to update kitchen equipment so our schools can serve healthier meals."
According to a study released by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nationwide, 88 percent of school districts need at least one piece of additional kitchen equipment to efficiently serve nutritious meals to their students.
In Rhode Island, 91 percent of school districts need at least one piece of additional kitchen equipment to better serve nutritious meals to students. And, only 32 percent of school districts in Rhode Island have at least some budget for kitchen equipment upgrades. The full report on Rhode Island's school kitchen equipment needs can be found HERE.
The USDA awarded a total of $25 million to states across the country. Rhode Island will competitively award the funds to school districts to purchase needed equipment, giving priority to high-need schools where 50 percent or more of the enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.