Program To Focus on Use of Local Produce for School Snacks
TRENTON, NJ – 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 158 New Jersey schools will participate in the 2014-2015 school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP).
The United States Department of Agriculture has allocated $4,021,620 for New Jersey for next school year’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which provides fresh produce to students during the school day, along with 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.
For the first time, 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. Eighty percent of the 158 schools have agreed to participate.
“The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable funds will be used to buy Jersey Fresh produce when it’s in season,” said Secretary Fisher. “In addition to students eating healthy local fresh produce and learning about the food we grow right here in the Garden State, our farmers will benefit.”
Starting in September, the selected schools will begin to offer fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis free to 74,475 students in 15 New Jersey counties each week.
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.
The schools that will participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the 2014-2015 school year are:
Bradley Elementary, Asbury Park
Thurgood Marshall School, Asbury Park
Audrey W. Clark School, Long Branch
Lenna E. Conrow, Long Branch
Morris Avenue School, Long Branch
West End School, Long Branch
Bnos Melech, Lakewood
Bnos Bina Girls School, Lakewood
Bnot Yisereal, Lakewood
Cheder Toras Zev, Lakewood
Congregation Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon, Lakewood
Clifton Avenue Grade School, Lakewood
Ella G. Clarke Elementary School, Lakewood
LECC 1, 2 & 3, Lakewood
Oak Street School, Lakewood
Spruce Street School, Lakewood
Talmud Torah Zecher Yochanan, Lakewood