COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 14

April 25, 2008

ADMINISTRATIVE

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

 

This memorandum notifies school divisions of a new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) program available in Virginia. The USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) has been expanded to authorize participation in all states. The FFVP began in 2002 as a pilot project. Due to the success of the pilot, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 authorized funds to states not currently eligible to participate. The program is intended to:

 

The Office of School Nutrition Programs is pleased to announce that 25 schools in Virginia will be selected to participate in the FFVP program at the elementary and secondary levels. Schools will receive funds to purchase a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to be made available at no charge to students during the school day at times other than meal service periods. The majority of the funds must be used to purchase fruits and vegetables with only a small percentage used for administrative costs. The program is scheduled to begin in school year 2008-2009 with school selection completed in June 2008. A School Profile/Application for the FFVP is Attachment A to this memo.

 

Currently, schools operating the FFVP throughout the country use classrooms or a combination of classrooms and kiosks to deliver fruits and vegetables to students. There are many creative ways to implement the program. School nutrition directors/supervisors are encouraged to generate ideas and talk with school administrators and others in the school community to develop a plan for implementing the FFVP. Those interested in applying are strongly encouraged to read the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Handbook for Schools, which is available on the USDA website at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/FFVP/Guidance/handbook.pdf

 

Twenty-five schools will be selected to participate in the FFVP for school year 2008-2009. Selection is limited to schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The majority of the schools selected must be those in which 50 percent or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced price meals. The schools selected to participate will be identified through a competitive application process. Schools previously identified by the Office of School Improvement to participate in the Partnership for Achieving Successful Schools (PASS) initiative are strongly encouraged to apply for the FFVP.

 

The selected schools will be funded from July 1, 2008 June 30, 2009. Each school's grant amount will be determined using an enrollment based formula established by USDA. Virginia will receive approximately $250,000 in total to be distributed to the 25 schools selected to participate. Individual school funding levels will vary based on enrollment and could range from $20 to $35 per student for the school year.

 

The majority of the funds must be dedicated to the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables. No more than 10 percent of the grant funds may be spent on labor and administrative costs. Non-federal resource partnerships are essential to successfully fulfilling the requirements of the program. As part of the application process, schools are required to develop a plan to establish non-federal resource partnerships to minimize costs. To assist schools in identifying these resources, Examples of Non-Federal Resource Partners is Attachment B to this memo.

 

Schools are also required to provide nutrition education as part of the program. Grant funds may not be used to purchase promotional materials such as t-shirts, stickers, decorations or similar items. Schools must include in their application a plan to establish partnerships that will assist in providing nutrition education. Examples of Nutrition Education Partners can also be found in Attachment B.

 

Since the intent of the program is to develop healthier eating habits, students in selected schools should be exposed to a variety of fruits and vegetables. The FFVP can help to reinforce health-promoting practices within schools. Resources are available to assist schools in assessing, identifying, and improving the school health environment, including the Governor's Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard. Schools are also encouraged to enroll as Team Nutrition schools at www.fns.usda.gov/tn.

 

Schools selected to participate in the FFVP for school year 2008-2009 will be notified by the end of June and will be required to attend a FFVP orientation in Richmond in July. Additional details regarding the orientation will be provided to the 25 selected schools. The FFVP team for each school must include the school nutrition director/supervisor (primary contact) and a project/site manager (cafeteria manager), as detailed on the FFVP application.

 

Applications for the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program must be submitted by 5 p.m. Friday, May 30, 2008, to:

Virginia Department of Education

Office of School Nutrition Programs

ATTN: Lynne Fellin, FFVP Coordinator

P.O. Box 2120

Richmond, VA 23218-2120

 

Questions and requests for information about the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program may be directed to Lynne A. Fellin, associate director of school nutrition programs, by telephone at (804) 225-2717 or by e-mail at lynne.fellin@doe.virginia.gov, or to the assigned school nutrition program specialist.

 

BKCJr/LAF/ec

 

Attachments

 

a. School Profile/Application (Word)

b. Examples of Non-Federal Resource Partners (PDF)