The following is a press release from the NJ Department of Agriculture.
Low-Income Students to Benefit From Healthy Snacks
(TRENTON) – As part of the Christie Administration’s continuing efforts to improve nutritional opportunities for school children, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced 154 New Jersey schools are participating in the 2017-2018 school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has allocated $4,085,227 for New Jersey for this school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which provides fresh produce to more than 74,000 students in 14 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.
“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,” Secretary Fisher said. “We have visited many schools that have this program and students look forward to trying new, healthy offerings along with their friends and are more likely to ask for these items at home.”
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. Eighty-six percent of the 154 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 2017-2018 school year.
To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NJDeptofAgriculture and www.facebook.com/JerseyFreshOfficial or Twitter @NJDA1 and @JerseyFreshNJDA.