As part of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s continuing efforts to improve nutritional opportunities for school children, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher has announced that 157 New Jersey schools are participating in the 2019-2020 school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP).
The United States Department of Agriculture has allocated $4,466,443 to New Jersey for this school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, to provide fresh produce to more than 79,000 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 creates a great amount of enthusiasm for students to try new offerings to further develop healthy eating habits that will benefit them long into the future,” Secretary Fisher said.
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. Seventy-nine percent of the 157 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.
In Bridgeton, participating schools are Broad Street School, Buckshutem Road School, Cherry Street School, Foster Early Childhood Center, Indian Avenue School, Quarter Mile Lane School, and West Avenue School.
Students at Haleyville-Mauricetown School in Commercial Township are also benefitting from the program, as well as students at three Millivlle schools—R.M. Bacon School, Silver Run School, and Thunderbolt Academy—and two Vineland schools—Dallago Early Childhood Center and Gloria M. Sabater School.