For Immediate Release: September 20, 2016
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(TRENTON) – As part of the Christie Administration’s continuing efforts to provide improved nutritional opportunities for school children, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced 156 New Jersey schools will participate in the 2016-2017 school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP).
The United States Department of Agriculture has allocated $4,335,630 for New Jersey for this school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, an increase of more than $163,000 over last year, to provide fresh produce to more than 78,662 students in 15 counties during the school day. The students also will receive nutrition education. The goal of the program is to expose children to healthy foods, increase their fruit and vegetable consumption and set them on the road to improved lifelong dietary habits.
“The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program not only increases the amount of produce consumed by students during the school day but also creates excitement for the children and teachers,” said Secretary Fisher. “We have visited many schools that have this program and students look forward to their healthy snacks and frequently try new things they might not have had access to in any other circumstance.”
The Department of Agriculture will provide additional funds 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. Eighty-one percent of the 156 schools have agreed to participate.
Some of the criteria used in selecting the schools to participate included: 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; the program would be well-publicized and all students would have access to the produce offered; and plans to partner with outside organizations to enhance nutrition education.
Click here for the schools that will participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2016-2017 school year.