The Board of Education last week voted unanimously in favor of having Fairfield's public schools participate in the state's Healthy Food Certification program during the 2012-13 school year.

The state initiative gives an additional 10 cents per reimbursable school lunch meal to school districts that participate in the program, requiring certain healthy food standards and excluding food at after-school events as long as such food

is not sold from vending machines and school stores.

Board member Perry Liu urged Joann Fitzpatrick, the schools manager of food and nutrition services, to gain a full understanding of the program's regulations so that she can educate pupils on the rules and healthy food alternatives that fit within the certification's guidelines.

"It says nothing that they can't sell certain foods (during the day)," he said. "They just have to qualify to fit within the healthy standards."

The board approved a second motion allowing the sale of beverages that do not meet state standards at after-school events, provided the beverages are not sold from a vending machine or school store.

Public schools in Connecticut are required to be certified annually for the program, which bases the number of meals to receive the additional reimbursement on the number of meals sold during the previous school year.

Michael C. Juliano