FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PROGRAM

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Introduction
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) provides all children in participating schools with a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school day. It is an effective and creative way of introducing fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options. The FFVP also encourages schools to develop partnerships at the State and local level for support in implementing and operating the program.

The Goal of the FFVP
Create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices:

  • Expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience
  • Increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption
  • Make a difference in children’s diets to impact their present and future health
This program is seen as an important catalyst for change in efforts to combat childhood obesity by helping children learn more healthful eating habits. The FFVP introduces school children to a variety of produce that they otherwise might not have had the opportunity to sample. 

Program History
Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program began as a pilot project authorized by Congress in 2002. The pilot provided funds to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in four States (Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Iowa) and an Indian Tribal Organization (ITO) (New Mexico) for School Year 2002‐2003. The purpose of the pilot was to determine the best practices for increasing fruit (both fresh and dried) and fresh vegetable consumption.

Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004
The success of the pilot led to the enactment of legislation in 2004 to expand the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and to make it a permanent program under the National School Lunch Act. The law added four additional states (Washington, North Carolina, Mississippi Pennsylvania and two ITOs (one in Arizona and one is South Dakota) for School Year 2004‐2005.

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill)
The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 amended the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act by adding section 19, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Section 19 permanently authorizes the program nationwide, and provides significant funding increases, beginning with $40 million in FY 2009 and growing to $150 million and adjusted by annual changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).