Superintendent's Memo #129-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

May 8, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Application for 2009-2010

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) has been expanded to provide additional federal funding for the 2009-2010 school year. Virginia will receive more than $1.6 million that will be distributed to schools for the program. Eligible elementary schools are encouraged to apply to participate in the FFVP to provide fresh fruit and vegetable snacks to students during the school day.

The FFVP is intended to:

Twenty-five Virginia schools participated in the FFVP in 2008-2009 with great success. Teachers, parents, and administrators enthusiastically supported the program. Students increased the number and variety of fruits and vegetables they were eating and used the nutrition information they learned in their daily assignments for subjects such as English, mathematics, science, and health.

The Virginia Department of Education, Office of School Nutrition Programs, is actively recruiting elementary schools with 50 percent or more of enrolled students eligible for free or reduced price meals to apply to participate in the FFVP. Eligible elementary schools are listed in Attachment A to this memo. Schools selected to participate for the upcoming school year will be identified through a competitive application process. The 2009-2010 application is Attachment B to this memo.

Selected elementary schools will receive funds to purchase a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to be made available to enrolled students at no charge during the school day at times other than meal service periods. Schools selected to participate in the FFVP for school year 2009-2010 will be notified in June and will be required to participate in a FFVP orientation in Richmond in July. The FFVP team for each school must include the school nutrition director (primary contact) and a project/site manager (cafeteria manager); the support of the school principal and division superintendent is also required and must be documented as part of the FFVP application.

Individual school funding for the FFVP will be allocated based on the school’s October 2008 school nutrition program (SNP) enrollment. Funding levels will be approximately $60 to $65 per student for the school year based on the total SNP enrollment of all schools selected to participate. Program funding will be available July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010. The majority of the funds must be used to purchase fruits and vegetables with no more than 10 percent available for equipment and administrative program costs.

Currently, schools operating the FFVP in Virginia deliver snacks to classrooms or use a kiosk or special area in the school to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables. There are many creative ways in which the program has been implemented. FFVP snacks have been offered several times per week to all students, or daily if time and funding permit.

School nutrition directors/supervisors are encouraged to collaborate with school administrators, teachers, and others in the school community to develop a plan for implementing the FFVP in one or more eligible schools for the 2009-2010 school year. Those interested in applying are strongly encouraged to read the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Handbook for Schools. The handbook is available for download from the USDA website at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/ffvp/Resources/FFVPhandbookFINAL.pdf

Non-federal resource partnerships are essential to a school’s success in fulfilling the requirements of the program, including providing nutrition education to participating students. Schools are required to develop a plan to establish non-federal resource partnerships to minimize costs and to assist with nutrition education. To aid schools in identifying these resources, Examples of Non-Federal Resource Partners and Nutrition Education Partners is Attachment C to this memo.

The FFVP can help to further a school’s efforts to reinforce health-promoting practices during the school day. Additional resources are available to assist schools in assessing and improving the school health environment. These include the Governor’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard, which can be found at: http://www.virginia.gov/doe/login.html
and the USDA Team Nutrition program, found at: www.fns.usda.gov/tn.

Applications for the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program must be submitted by 4 p.m. Monday, June 1, 2009, to:

Virginia Department of Education
Office of School Nutrition Programs
ATTN: Lynne A. 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.

PIW / LAF / idl

a. SY 2008-2009 National School Lunch Program Report of Eligible Elementary Schools (PDF)
b. 2009-2010 School Application for USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (Word)
c. Examples of Non-Federal Resource and Nutrition Education Partners (Word)