Finding Winnable Strategies to Expand the Reach of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Beyond School Settings
Frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables has been linked to better dietary quality and positive health outcomes. Unfortunately, fruit and vegetable consumption among elementary school children falls far short of the recommendations. Therefore, finding strategies to promote fruit and vegetable consumption in children is a public health priority. One such strategy is the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), which provides fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks, at least twice per week, in elementary schools with high student enrollment from low-income households. The program aims to expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience, impacting their present and future health outcomes. Another USDA initiative, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), offered in community and school settings, aims to improve the likelihood that SNAP eligible individuals will make healthy food choices consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. SNAP-Ed is a potential resource for FFVP schools, providing nutrition education, staff training, and promotional materials.