The Fresh Fruit &Vegetable Program
Have you ever bit into a strawberry that burst with sweetness and you smiled because it tasted that good?
Maybe you had fresh arugula, and the peppery crisp crunch surprised you?
What about the sweet tangy taste of a fresh Florida ruby grapefruit that made your lips pucker?
These are flavors as adults we take for granted.
Now imagine you’re an elementary child and you’re tasting some fruits and vegetables for the first time.
These are some flavors we offer your child taking part in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
Each year, Child Nutrition Services applies for a grant with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to take part in the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) at select elementary schools in St. Lucie County that meet grant criteria.
Read on for more information about this valuable program that benefits the children of St. Lucie Public Schools.
What is the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program?
The USDA piloted the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in 2002 in four states with the simple goal of introducing elementary-aged children to fresh unprocessed fruits and vegetables.
In 2008, the USDA made the FFVP a permanent program funded through the Farm Bill.
Each year, Child Nutrition Services applies for the FFVP grant through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) hoping to be one of the school districts in Florida to receive grant funding for this hidden jewel of a program.
What does this program want to accomplish?
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program has 4 goals:
- Create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices
- Expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience.
- Increase children’s fruit and vegetable intake.
- Make a difference in children’s diets that will affect their present and future health.
How does the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program fit in with Child Nutrition Services values?
The FFVP is an essential part of our school meals program, providing your child the opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables outside of the cafeteria, expanding their tastes and preferences.
We work with our produce vendors for unique fruits and vegetables to offer your child a fresh tasting experience, tantalizing young tastebuds.
Yet, we still offer the tried-and-true favorites.
What the FFVP is not.
The FFVP is not a snack program. Four days a week, your child receives a sampling of different fresh fruits and vegetables to enhance and encourage fruit and vegetable consumption.
The fruits and vegetables are in an uncooked state, giving your child the experience of tasting fruits and vegetables naturally.
How does Child Nutrition Services define FFVP success?
FFVP wouldn’t be a success without the support of our teachers and school administration.
Teachers provide the nutrition education required by the grant, encourage students to try new items and are a positive role model.
Principals recognize the tremendous value FFVP offers your child and welcome the program into their schools.
Child Nutrition Services is proud to partner with the following nine elementary schools in St. Lucie County:
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program 2022-2023
- Lakewood Park Elementary
- CA Moore Elementary
- Lawnwood Elementary
- Weatherbee Elementary
- White City Elementary
- Savanna Ridge Elementary
- Parkway Elementary
- Samuel Gaines Academy (through 5th grade)
- St. Lucie Elementary
We are excited to bring the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to St. Lucie Public Schools. If your child attends one of our FFVP schools, ask what they tried today.
For more information: USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
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This institution is an equal opportunity provider.