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Program Focuses on Use of Local Produce for School Snacks

For Immediate Release: June 9, 2015
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(609) 633-2954       

(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 151 New Jersey schools will participate in the 2015-2016 school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). 

The United States Department of Agriculture has allocated $4,172,474 for New Jersey for next school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to provide fresh produce to more than 76,400 students in 14 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.

“Thousands of New Jersey school children will be eating Jersey Fresh produce when in season next school year thanks to the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program,” said Secretary Fisher.  “The program also teaches students about the food we grow in the Garden State and helps our local farmers.” 

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.  Seventy percent of the 151 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 2015-2016 school year.