Make fresh produce part of the school day!
Photo courtesy of Yough Glades Elementary School
What is it?
A new U.S. Department of Agriculture initiative, the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program (FFVP), administered by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)’s School and Community Nutrition Programs Branch is working to increase children’s consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The FFVP reimburses selected elementary schools for serving fresh fruit and vegetables to students at a rate of $50-75 per student per year. This popular program targets schools with a high percentage of low-income students. The fruits and vegetables are served as a snack during the school day, outside the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.
The FFVP became a nationwide program starting July 1, 2008. The funding level is $65 million nationwide for School Year (SY) 2009-2010 and will increase to $101 million for SY 2010-2011 and $150 million for SY 2011-2012.
The FFVP has made a positive impact on the eating habits of students in participating schools. Schools are building exciting learning activities around the FFVP. Students, teachers, parents, and principals love the program.
“The students eagerly await the delivery in the afternoon of the fruits and vegetables to the classrooms, to see what they will be receiving.”
- Hillcrest Elementary School, Frederick County
“Ferndale has had many parents comment that their child is now eating more fruits and veggies, trying more fruits & vegetables, and not so much afraid to try new things.”
– Ferndale Elementary School, Anne Arundel County
MSDE would like to get more schools involved next year. The program helps students build healthy habits that last a lifetime by combining tastings with nutrition education!
Who is Eligible?
To participate, schools must be elementary schools, participate in the National School Lunch Program, and at least 50 percent of students in the school must be eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Schools must apply for participation each year.
Forty-four schools participated in the FFVP during SY 2008-2009. Increases in federal funding next school year will allow the program to expand. For further information and to learn more about how to participate contact 410-767-0214.
FFVP School Participation Data
FFVP Fact Sheet
FFVP Training for Teachers and School Nutrition Staff