US (NJ): 144 schools offering fresh fruit and vegetable program

As part of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s continuing efforts to improve nutritional opportunities for school children, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher announced 144 New Jersey schools are participating in the 2018-2019 school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has allocated $4,012,960 for New Jersey for this school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which provides fresh produce to more than 73,000 students in 13 counties during the school day. The students also will receive nutrition education.

The goal of the program is to introduce children to healthy foods, increase their fruit and vegetable consumption, and encourage improved lifelong dietary habits.

“We have seen first-hand the excitement that the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program creates for students,” Secretary Fisher said. “It encourages students to try new offerings with their friends and that makes it more likely they will ask for these items at home. It’s a great avenue for students to develop healthy eating habits that will benefit them long into the future.”

Additional funds will be allocated to schools for connecting their FFVP with the Farm to School Program. The schools must provide Jersey Fresh produce a minimum of two days each month from September to November and from April to June and must verify where the produce was grown. Seventy-nine percent of the 144 schools have agreed to link their FFVP and Farm to School Program.

Some of the criteria used in selecting the schools to participate in FFVP include: Elementary schools with 50 percent or more of their students eligible for free or reduced price meals; schools that planned to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables as much as possible; all students having access to the produce offered; and plans to partner with outside organizations to enhance nutrition education.

Click here for the schools that are participating in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2018-2019 school year.

For more information:
www.nj.gov/agriculture


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