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Photo of fruits used in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program - Click to enlarge
Almost 76,000 Children Around the State to Benefit

For Immediate Release: July 16, 2011
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(609) 633-2954

(TRENTON) – As part of the Christie Administration’s efforts to provide improved nutritional opportunities for school children, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced New Jersey has received federal funding to expand the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2012-2013 school year.

The number of schools participating in the program will increase from 143 in 16 counties last school year to 155 schools in 18 counties starting in September. 

“The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program has been extremely successful in New Jersey,” said Secretary Fisher.  “The program has changed the school environment for the better, with children at one school we visited referring to the fresh produce as ‘treats.’  It is a hands-on way of teaching students about good nutrition and creating good food habits that will last them a lifetime.”   

The United States Department of Agriculture has allocated $3,887,073 for New Jersey’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.  The program provides fresh produce to students during the school day, along with nutrition education.  By exposing children to healthy foods, their fruit and vegetable consumption increases, ultimately leading to improved lifelong dietary habits.

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 a list of schools that will participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2012-2013 school year.