The Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Snack Program for Elementary Schools
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program is an effective school-based strategy to increase children's consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, improve their health, and reduce their risk of obesity. Participating schools receive federal funds to provide a fresh fruit and/or vegetable snack to all students for free every day at school.
The 2008 Farm Bill
provides $1.2 billion in mandatory funding over the next 10 years to implement the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program nation-wide. This federal funding is available only to elementary schools with at least 50% or more of their students eligible for free and reduce-priced meals.
Participating elementary schools receive between $50 - $75 per student a year to offer students a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks. Each school decides what fresh fruit and vegetables to serve and where to purchase the fresh fruits and vegetables.
This school year (2009-2010) approximately 1.4 million students nationwide will participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. In total, $72.5 million in federal funds are available this school year. Each state
has received a specific amount of funding to implement the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program in selected elementary schools.
Elementary schools interested in applying for funding should contact the child nutrition division of their state's department of education for applications and specific information. The funding for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program increases every year allowing more schools and more children to benefit.
Schools for the 2009-2010 school year have been selected. During the late winter/early spring of 2010 it is anticipated that each state will be soliciting applications from interested schools wishing to participate during the 2010-11 school year.
United Fresh Produce Association was the leader in advocating for Congress to expand the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program nationwide in the 2008 Farm Bill. United Fresh, working together with a broad coalition of public health and nutrition organizations, built broad bi-partisan political support in Congress and we are committed to working with champions in Congress to expand the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program to all elementary school children over the next 10 years.
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program is a Win-Win for students, their families, their schools and the fruit and vegetable industry.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, with United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel, and Senior Vice President, Public Policy Robert Guenther. Senator Harkin presented Tom and Robert with a poster-board that had a statement about the Snack Program, and which he read aloud while debating the Farm Bill on the Senate Floor. Senator Harkin stated, "Congress has taken the bold step to expand the fresh fruit and vegetable snack program to all 50 states which makes certain that this farm bill doesn't just help farmers, but helps schoolchildren have greater access to the bounty of our nationï¿½s fruit and vegetable production."