Green Park, Sharpstein, Edison and Blue Ridge Elementary Schools received funding for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) for the 2019-2020 school year. This program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Funds are allocated to eligible elementary schools based on their free and reduced-price meal percentage. Funding allows schools to offer a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to students throughout the school year.
“The FFVP program has been successful in introducing elementary school children to a variety of produce that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to sample,” said Walla Walla Public Schools Director of Nutrition Services Pamela Milleson. “Goals of the program are to include new and different varieties, increase overall acceptance and consumption of fresh, unprocessed produce among children, and provide nutritional facts and information.”
A total of 65 Local Education Agencies and 190 schools have been funded to participate in the FFVP. Walla Walla Public Schools will receive a total of $92,000 for the four schools. WWPS Nutrition Services staff will receive annual training for the program. Students will get fruits or vegetables 3-5 days a week, outside of the school breakfast and lunch program. Options will include dragon fruit, eggplant, kumquats, kale, plantains, spinach, and rampbutan.
WWPS Nutrition Services has also developed Fruits and Vegetables Fun Facts sheets to help teachers talk about the produce being served in the classrooms.
The fact sheets are posted online: