Fresh Produce in Schools At Risk

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Last week in Washington, D.C., a bill was introduced that could forever change one of the most successful and effective programs to improve child nutrition in America, the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program (FFVP).  I’m really disappointed and I want you to know why.  The bill which undermines the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program was introduced by Wisconsin Senators Johnson and Baldwin along with Indiana Senators Donnelly and Coats.

The bill, “The Fruit & Vegetable Access for Children Act” will add “all forms” of fruits and vegetables (canned, frozen, pureed and dried) to the FFVP.

Why is this a bad idea?

Children already have plenty of access to processed fruits and vegetables in the school breakfast and lunch programs.

Additionally, processed food companies that make canned tomatoes, canned string beans, frozen corn and dried cranberries are the ones pushing this change.

  • Does anyone think it’s a smart idea to give young children a morning snack of canned tomatoes, canned string beans or frozen corn?
  • Does anyone really think this move will increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption?
  • What do you think will happen if these foods are given to kids at 9:30 in the morning?

The goal of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is to increase children’s fruit and vegetable intake and help kids develop healthier eating habits.  The FFVP has been a success for more than a decade.  Today, over 4 million low income elementary students enjoy a fresh fruit or vegetable snack every day at school.  I’ve been privileged to witness FFVP at Indianapolis Public Schools, where 100% of the district’s students now participate in the FFVP and are eating everything from kumquats to orange bell pepper strips to mango chunks to turnip sticks and more.

Granted, the “The Fruit and Vegetable Access for Children Act” will not exclude fresh fruits and vegetables from being served, but the Senators defend their bill…”as a way to provide children with a greater variety” by allowing processed.  This. Is. Nonsense!!!  Children already have access to plenty of processed fruits and vegetables in school meals!  

Now, MORE THAN EVER, I need your help!  It’s very important for constituents to add their voice, so please reach out to your members of Congress today and ask them to OPPOSE the “Fruit & Vegetable Access for Children Act.” Click here to send them a letter in two easy steps.

[bctt tweet=”Attn: @SenDonnelly, @SenDanCoats, @SenRonJohnson & @SenatorBaldwin #KeepFFVPfresh!”]

The public health community, parents, teachers and students share my disappointment.  The list below includes some of the organizations that issued a joint letter to Congress expressing their desire to “Keep FFVP Fresh!”

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Heart Association
  • National Education Association
  • National PTA
  • United Fresh Produce Association
  • Read complete list of other notable #KeepFFVPfresh supporters HERE (public health organizations) and HERE (fresh produce industry organizations)

Thank you so much for reading this.  This is the most important blog I’ve ever written in the history of this website.  Please do not be silent.

Your voice is needed to oppose this Bill, which will compromise the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program in schools across America!  Fresh produce in schools is at risk! 

To contact your Members of Congress:

  1. Please click here to send a letter now in 2 easy steps, or
  2. Comment below & I will personally help you with the draft and delivery of your correspondence

Consider sharing this blog post on social media and adding a comment below.  Your interaction will help us spread the word & rally constituents across the USA to #KeepFFVPfresh!  We cannot be silent on this issue!  Use the Fresh Action website to send your opposition now.  It’s a 20-second process and the best way to ensure that your child will be served fresh produce, not processed fruits & veggies, during FFVP at school.

[bctt tweet=”I want MORE Fresh Produce in Schools! I disagree with @SenRonJohnson #KeepFFVPfresh”]

This website & everything related to The Produce Mom will always fight for fresh… especially in schools!


Lori Taylor
Founder & Owner, The Produce Mom LLC
Proud Resident of Indianapolis, Indiana
Mother of Two Elementary School Students
Constituent of Senators Dan Donnelly, Dan Coats & Congressman Andre Carson

Tweet to the other co-authors of this atrocious Bill:

[bctt tweet=”I want MORE Fresh Produce in Schools! I disagree with @SenDonnelly #KeepFFVPfresh”]

[bctt tweet=”I want MORE Fresh Produce in Schools! I disagree with @SenDanCoats #KeepFFVPfresh”]

[bctt tweet=”I want MORE Fresh Produce in Schools! I disagree with @SenatorBaldwin #KeepFFVPfresh”]

About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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