Washington, D.C. (January 20, 2016)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today expressed its support for language included in the Senate’s child nutrition reauthorization bill to expand the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) to include all forms of fruits and vegetables, including frozen, canned and dried, in some circumstances.
Included in the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, which was marked up and reported out by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry today, the provision allows certain school districts to petition USDA to purchase canned, frozen or dried fruits and vegetables for use in the FFVP.
“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,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “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.”