In response to the growing amount of research supporting
the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable
Program (FFVP), the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Child Nutrition Unit
(CNU) has developed guidelines for schools who wish to implement a
“Self-Sustaining” Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
Recent research has provided convincing data that schools
who serve fresh fruits and fresh vegetables outside of the breakfast and lunch
periods for multiple years may see a decrease in childhood obesity numbers
(body mass index) and an increase in overall fruit and vegetable consumption in
Schools who have been awarded a USDA Fresh Fruit and
Vegetable Program grant and are receiving reimbursement should continue to
follow the normal procedures that are reviewed in the annual FFVP Training.
Schools who have applied but have not been awarded a USDA
FFVP grant, schools who have been FFVP schools in the past but are no longer
eligible per USDA’s criteria, schools who have never applied for a FFVP grant,
and schools of ANY grade combination (including high schools) are allowed to
start a “Self-Sustaining” FFVP.
A “Self-Sustaining” FFVP will not receive reimbursement for
items used in this program. Schools who
participate will be responsible for identifying, obtaining, managing, and
tracking their own finances. ADE CNU
will review records during Administrative Reviews.
Schools will choose one or more of the following sources of
funds for the “Self-Sustaining” FFVP:
- The School Food Authority has in excess of a three-month
operating balance. If all Child Nutrition Program needs are
accommodated first and these programs will not be compromised by allowing a
self-sustaining FFVP, funds from the Child Nutrition account will be used to operate
the self-sustaining FFVP.
- Other local district (non-federal) funds will be used to
operate the self-sustaining FFVP.
- A school-based organization or group will provide funds to
operate the self-sustaining FFVP (Parent/Teacher Organization, local School
Nutrition Association Chapter, student organization, etc.)
- A community-based organization or group will provide funds
to operate the self-sustaining FFVP (civic organization, non-profit, church,
- A private business or individual will provide funds to
operate the self-sustaining FFVP (local business, individual, or group)
Schools who decide to implement “Self-Sustaining” FFVP must
agree to follow the intent and design of the USDA FFVP by completing the
attached Attestation for Self-Sustaining
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
The attestation will be signed by school officials and ADE, CNU leadership,
and copies will be available in the district/school and at the CNU. Attestation statements will be updated each
year with the Child Nutrition Agreements and Policy Statements.
The intent of the FFVP is to serve only fresh fruits and
fresh vegetables to students during school hours and outside of the breakfast
or lunch periods. The attestation
statement includes a list of unallowable items for both FFVP and
A well designed FFVP or “Self-Sustaining” FFVP must also
include a nutrition education component so that students may taste and learn
about the fruits and vegetables they are consuming.
Schools are encouraged to review the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Handbook for Schools prior
to submitting an attestation statement.
To start a “Self-Sustaining” FFVP:
- Complete TWO copies of the Attestation for Self-Sustaining Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
and mail to:
Arkansas Child Nutrition Unit
2020 West 3rd Suite 404
Little Rock, AR 72205
For additional information or questions, please contact
Stephanie Alsbrook, Assistant Director of Healthy Schools at (501) 324-9502 or firstname.lastname@example.org.