COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
April 30, 2010
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, also known as the 2008 Farm Bill, amended the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) by adding Section 19, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). Under Section 19 of the NSLA, the FFVP became a nationwide program that operates in selected elementary schools in the 50 states. Virginia will be awarded more than $2.48 million to be allocated to eligible elementary schools that apply to participate in the 2010-2011 school year. Eligible elementary schools are those that participate in the National School Lunch Program and have a minimum of 50 percent of enrolled students eligible for free or reduced price meals as reported for October 2009. Section 19 of the NSLA requires elementary schools with the highest free and reduced price eligibility be given priority in FFVP participation.
The FFVP is intended to:
The Virginia Department of Education, Office of School Nutrition Programs, is accepting applications from eligible elementary schools for FFVP participation in school year 2010-2011. Eligible elementary schools are listed in Attachment A to this memo. Schools will be selected to participate based on their free and reduced price eligibility percentage and a complete application which details their implementation plan and budget; any item missing from the application will cause the application to be rejected. The 2010-2011 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 as a snack during the school day at times other than the meal periods to enrolled students at no charge. Schools selected to participate in the FFVP will be notified in June and will be required to participate in an orientation for the FFVP in July. The FFVP team for each school must include the division 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 total October 2009 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, 2010, through June 30, 2011, and will be allocated in two parts: July 1-September 30 and October 1-June 30. The majority of the funds must be used to purchase fruits and vegetables with no more than 10 percent of funds used 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 ideally will be offered daily to all students; however, a minimum of three times per week to all students is a requirement for program participation.
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 2010-2011 school year. Divisions may apply for several eligible elementary schools to participate; a separate application is required for each school. Divisions should limit the number of participating schools to those that can be effectively administered by available local SNP staff and may not apply for more than five schools to participate in any year.
Those interested in applying are strongly encouraged to read the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Handbook for Schools for complete program requirements and resources. The handbook is available for download from the USDA website at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/ffvp/Resources/FFVPhandbookFINAL.pdf.
Nonfederal partnerships are essential to a school's success in fulfilling the requirements of the FFVP, including providing nutrition education to participating students. Schools are required to develop a plan to establish nonfederal resource partnerships to minimize costs and to assist with nutrition education. To aid schools in identifying these resources, Examples of Nonfederal Resource Partners and Nutrition Education Partners is Attachment C to this memo.
The FFVP can help further a school's efforts to reinforce health-promoting practices during the school day. Resources available to assist schools in assessing and improving the school health environment include the Governor's Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard, found at: http://www.virginia.gov/doe/login.html and USDA's Team Nutrition, found at: www.fns.usda.gov/tn. In addition, the FFVP can assist a school in implementing the Farm-to-School program by providing an opportunity to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from local sources such as area farmers or farmers' markets, consistent with applicable procurement requirements. More information about Virginia's Farm-to-School program can be found at: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/marketing/farm.shtml
Applications for the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program must be submitted by 4 p.m., Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 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.