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Nutrition Programs
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What is the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program?

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is a grant opportunity for schools to provide children with free fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day. It is an effective and creative way of introducing fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options.

The goal of the FFVP is to:

  • Create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices.
  • Expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience.
  • Increase children's fruit and vegetable consumption.
  • Make a difference in children’s diet to impact their present and future health.

This program helps teach students where fruits and vegetables come from and allows them to try some they may not have heard about before! This is one great way for schools to help combat childhood obesity by teaching children healthful eating habits.

According to federal regulations, the school selection criteria to participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is as follows:

  • Only elementary schools can participate
  • Each interested school must submit an approvable application for participation annually
  • Highest priority must be given to schools with the highest percentages of low-income students to the maximum extent practicable

The FFVP is a grant schools can apply for. The grant is used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to serve during the school day, but not as part of breakfast or lunch. Each school receives between $50 and $75 per student to fund the program throughout the school year. Schools may use the FFVP grant to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and to cover operational and administrative expenses.

FFVP Handbook - This is the current edition of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) and is based on Section 19 of the National School Lunch Act.

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Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program Application

FFVP grants for the 2023-24 school year have been awarded and applications are not currently being accepted. Applications for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grant are completed online in the IowaCNP for elementary schools that meet eligibility criteria. A letter and invitation to apply is sent to elementary schools with 50% or more of their enrolled students eligible for free or reduced price meals. The application process and award occur in the spring for the following school year.

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2023-24 Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program Schools

Click on the map below to go to an interactive map highlighting all of the schools participating in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program during the 2023-24 school year.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Participants – Listing of Iowa elementary schools participating during the 2023-24 school year.

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Fruit & Vegetable Resources

The resources below assist in classroom education while tasting a new fruit or vegetable.

  • Great Tasters Poster - Provides reminders to students about polite taste testing practices.
  • Hand Washing Sign - Encourages students to wash their hands before eating in a fun and engaging way.
  • Pick a Better Snack Materials - Includes lessons for elementary classrooms, fact sheets and family newsletters featuring healthy and money saving tips in English and Spanish.
  • What Am I? - Fruit and vegetable prompts that can be read as morning announcements or displayed as electronic messages.

Taste Testing Tips

  • Allow the children to explore the new food item, look, touch, and, smell.
  • Share information about the food. The more they know, the more willing they may be to try it.
  • Teach the children the guidelines for polite food tasting.
  • Offer small tastes of a food first. Never force a child to eat a food.
  • Be a role model and the food with them.
  • Offer new foods first to children willing to try new things. Watching a peer eat a food can help the most reluctant eater bud into a food taster.
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