Farmer Cooperatives support expansion of fruits and vegetables in Child Nutrition Bill

The reauthorization bill would allow the FFVP to include frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables. | File photo

The U.S. Senate’s Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill to expand the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is receiving support from the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.

The reauthorization bill would allow the FFVP to include frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables.

“This provision will help provide schoolchildren in some of the country’s poorest school districts with greater access to the important vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables. The science is clear in showing equivalent nutritional benefits of canned, frozen or dried fruits and vegetables when compared to fresh,” Chuck Conner, the council's president and CEO, said. “Since canned, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables are often much more affordable options, this option will give these school districts greater flexibility and empower them to provide healthy food to their students.”

Last week, the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016 was marked up and reported by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. The provision to include all forms of fruits and vegetables allows certain school districts to petition the USDA for varieties of fruits and vegetables that may be easier to access than fresh fruits and vegetables.

Organizations in this story

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives 50 F Street NW, Suite 900 Washington, DC, 20001

United States Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave SW Washington, DC 20250

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