Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Act Would Bring More Produce to School Meals

January 21, 2010

HSC is pleased to support The Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Act of 2009, a bill introduced in December by Representatives Sam Farr (D-CA) and Adam Putnam (R-FL). The Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Act could make a real difference in ensuring access to fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables starting in elementary school, when kids are first developing healthy habits.

In October 2009, the Institute of Medicine recommended many changes to The National School Lunch Program — including doubling the amount of fruit served at school breakfast and doubling the fruits and vegetables in school lunch.

We’re excited that, if passed, The Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Act of 2009 would help close that gap by:

  • Promoting school salad bars or fruit and vegetable bars as an evidence-based strategy for increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables that children eat.
  • Providing funds to make sure that cafeteria equipment helps schools serve more fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Linking school meals with local and regional food producers.
  • Providing training and technical assistance that emphasize best practices to increase the effectiveness of the program.
  • Expanding the variety and amount of fresh fruits and vegetables available to schools through the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
  • Improving the quality of school meals by requiring the USDA to update nutrition standards based on the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine.

Other supporters of the bill include the Community Food Security Coalition, the Public Health Institute, the Prevention Institute, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the National WIC Association, the National Farm to School Network, and the United Fresh Produce Association.

At HSC, we’re thrilled that this bill would make fruits and vegetables more central to school meal programs, and we think this provision would be an exciting part of a strong, well-funded Child Nutrition Act. Learn more about the Child Nutrition Act and voice your support for a well-funded reauthorization!