Filling out a FFVP application can be time-consuming, because of the planning that it requires. School personnel often struggle to find the time to start a new program, especially in schools with inadequate resources. Advocates can use this planning tool to help schools structure their program and complete the FFVP application.
1. How will the fresh fruits and vegetables be served?
Think about the best place in your school to serve the fresh fruit and vegetable snacks. Pick places that make the snacks accessible to all students at some point throughout the day, as this is a program requirement. For example, would having a kiosk or cart in the hallway be beneficial, or would it be better to serve snacks in the classroom? To help decide how best to serve the snack, consider the following:
2. When will the program be available to students?
Offering the snacks on a consistent schedule will benefit both school nutrition and teaching staff, as they can plan the time into their daily schedules. To help decide when you would serve the snacks, consider the following:
3. How can schools manage operational and administrative costs?
School budgets are very tight. Generally, FFVP operational needs can be met by school food service personnel, teachers and other school staff, along with community volunteers.
4. Do you anticipate needing to purchase any equipment for the program (carts, tables, kiosks, etc.)?
These expenses are part of the administrative costs of your program, which are limited to 10 percent of your total grant award.
5. What partnerships does your school have to support the program?
Partnerships are very helpful because schools often need volunteer assistance to plan the program, serve snacks to the children, and provide nutrition education. For example, farm-to-school partnerships can provide opportunities for nutrition education as well as sources for purchasing fresh local produce. Possible partners include:
6. List a variety of nutrition education activities (one-time events or on-going activities) to promote acceptance, consumption and knowledge of fruits and vegetables.
This aspect of the program is not required or funded by USDA, but educational activities will enhance the program’s impact on students and families. There are a variety of free, easy, fun ways to promote good nutrition within your school without having to devote much time or effort. Think about these questions:
7. Describe any information your school has collected from students or parents regarding fruit and vegetable preference or eating habits.
Gathering this type of information prior to the start of the program will help strengthen your program and determine its impact on student eating habits. Possible activities include:
If you haven’t collected any information, don’t worry – this will not hinder the approval of the application.
8. What are possible concerns about the FFVP?
Think about the issues that may arise in your school and how to overcome them:
9. Why should your school be selected? How will the students in your school benefit from this program?
The benefits of this program to students range from increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables to enhanced opportunities for learning. If a school is located in an area with few resources for obtaining fresh produce, FFVP provides a source of nutrition to children not otherwise available to them.