1. What is the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable
Program?The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is a
federally assisted program providing free fresh fruits
and vegetables to children at eligible elementary
schools during the school day. The goal of the FFVP
is to introduce children to fresh fruits and vegetables,
to include new and different varieties, and to increase
overall acceptance and consumption of fresh,
unprocessed produce among children. The FFVP also
encourages healthier school environments by promoting
nutrition education. To learn more, visit the FFVP
2. Who administers the FFVP?
The Food and Nutrition Service of the United States
Department of Agriculture administers the FFVP at the
Federal level. At the State level, the FFVP is administered
by State agencies, which operate the Program through
agreements with local school food authorities. State
agency contact information is available at: https://www.
3. Which schools are eligible to participate in
Elementary schools in all 50 States, the District of
Columbia, and the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and
the Virgin Islands are eligible to participate. Schools must
operate the National School Lunch Program in order
to operate the FFVP. Importantly, the FFVP prioritizes
schools with the highest percentage of children certified
as eligible for free and reduced price meals. This is
because children from low-income families generally
have fewer opportunities to consume fresh produce on
a regular basis.
4. What are the application requirements for
Eligible elementary schools must submit an FFVP
application that includes:
• The total number of enrolled children;
• The percentage of children certified as eligible for
free and reduced price meals;
• A certification of support for participation of the
FFVP signed by the school food service manager,
school principal, and the district superintendent
(or equivalent positions, as determined by the
• A Program implementation plan, including efforts
to integrate the FFVP with other efforts to promote
childhood health and nutrition.
5. What are the requirements for FFVP
Participating elementary schools are required to publicize
the availability of the FFVP, and must serve the fresh
fruits and vegetables outside the National School Lunch
Program and School Breakfast Program meal service
times. Beyond these requirements, schools have flexibility
in determining their implementation plan. Schools may
select the type of produce served, decide the number of
days per week to serve the produce (though schools are
strongly encouraged to serve a minimum of two days per
week), and choose the time outside the breakfast and
lunch meal service to provide fresh fruits and vegetables
6. What types of fruits and vegetables must be
served under the FFVP?
The Food and Nutrition Service encourages schools to
serve a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Because
the intent of the FFVP is to introduce children to new
and different fresh fruits and vegetables, the produce
must be served in a way that it is easily identifiable. This
encourages children to enjoy fruits and vegetables “as
Schools may purchase produce through wholesalers,
brokers, local grocery stores, or other retailers. Schools
can also support local agricultural producers by buying
fresh produce at farmers’ markets and orchards, or by
purchasing directly from growers in their community.
In all cases, schools must follow proper procurement
procedures. Purchases must be made according to
existing local, State, and Federal guidelines, including
the Buy American provision.
7. How do FFVP reimbursements work?
Selected elementary schools receive $50 to $75 per
student for each school year. The exact amount of per
student funding is determined by the State agency, and
is based on the total funds allocated to the State and the
student enrollment at participating schools. With these
funds, schools purchase fresh fruits and vegetables
to serve free of charge to children during the school
day. Participating schools submit monthly claims for
reimbursement, which are reviewed by the school food
authority before payment is processed by the State
agency. Schools are then reimbursed for the cost of fresh
fruits and vegetables, as well as limited non-food costs.
8. Where can I go to learn more about the FFVP?
For more information about the FFVP, please contact the
State agency responsible for the administration of the
Program in your State: https://www.fns.usda.gov/schoolmeals/school-meals-contacts.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service https://www.fns.usda.gov/
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Updated December 2017