St. Martin North Elementary school administrators, faculty and students were on hand at a March 20 event at the school celebrating a $10,000 Apples4Ed grant through the U.S. Apple Association. ( Photo courtesy U.S. Apple Association )

Last week the U.S. Apple Association presented its 2018 Apples4Ed grant of $10,000 to St. Martin North Elementary in Biloxi, Miss.

The elementary school beat out the competition — 275 applicants from across the country — by proposing to not only create a healthy snack pantry but to educate students about making healthy food choices, according to a news release.

St. Martin North school administrators, faculty and students were on hand at a March 20 celebration at the school.

“Although many other schools proposed to establish a healthy snack pantry, St. Martin North Elementary separated itself by including an education component to teach skills for making healthy choices,” association president and CEO Jim Bair, one of the judges, said in the release. “This school rose above many of the others because the grant money won’t only be used to buy food, but also to educate students, leading to a long-term and sustainable difference.”

The U.S. Apple Association runs the Apples4Ed program in partnership with the School Nutrition Association and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture to grant funding to schools that encourage regular consumption of healthy, balanced snacks, according to the release.

Attendees at the St. Martin North award celebration included Jackson County School District superintendent Barry Amacker, assistant superintendent Michael Van Winkle and St. Martin North’s principal Dr. Lisa Suarez, who applied for the grant.

In addition to the top grant of $10,000, the U.S. Apple Association also awarded $5,000 grants to two other schools in different areas of the country, with plans to publicly recognize each of them in April, according to the release.

Applications for 2019 Apples4Ed funding open in August, with program details available at