$25 million in grants will help schools buy new kitchen equipment

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing $25 million in grants to help schools purchase new, energy-efficient appliances such as refrigerators, ovens and other food-service-related equipment.

"These grants will help schools obtain much needed infrastructure to better serve their students and will focus on equipment that helps schools provide nutritious meals, support food safety efforts, improve energy efficiency, and expand participation in school nutrition programs," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says in a news release.

The department's Food and Nutrition Service will award the grants to schools that take part in the National School Lunch Program and that did not receive a Recovery Act grant for equipment assistance in fiscal 2009. Schools with more than 50 percent of their students eligible for free or reduced-price meals will be given priority for grants.

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