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News Release

Release No. 0208.08
Jean Daniel (703) 305-2286

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2008- Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer today announced that $49 million will be provided in fresh fruits and vegetables for elementary school children during the school day. The 2008 farm bill amended the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act by adding section 19, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. This new section replaces a previous program in a limited number of states, and expands fresh fruits and vegetables to selected schools in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

"Fresh produce for children at school gives them an early start on healthy eating habits that can stay with them after school, and throughout their lives," said Schafer. "This program will help educate students about the importance of good nutrition, including eating fresh fruit and vegetables. We know that far too many young people are struggling with being overweight and even obese. Now, more than ever, children need our help in building good eating habits so they can have a long and healthy life."

All students in participating schools receive fresh fruits and vegetables at no cost where a high proportion of children are eligible to receive free- or reduced-price school meals. In addition to more choice, their routines may grow to add fruits and vegetables into their daily meal choices outside of school.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is targeted to students in the neediest elementary schools in each state. Schools may apply for funding to operate this program on an annual basis. The Farm Bill makes available $40 million during the upcoming school years: 2008-2009, $65 million for 2009-2010, $101 million for 2010-2011, and $150 million for 2011-2012. Subsequent yearly funding is indexed for inflation. State funding levels are allocated through a formula and will be available October 1, 2008. Schools are encouraged to implement the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in partnership with non-federal organizations. In addition to the money made available by the Farm Bill, approximately $9 million was made available in the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 110-161) for distribution to States in support of school year 2008-2009 activity.

Total Allocation per State for School Yr 08-09

(Includes $40 million in farm bill funding and funds from previous appropriations)

Total budget authority $48,889,165
Alabama $858,995
Alaska $624,700
Arizona $960,622
Arkansas $752,488
California $2,755,357
Colorado $872,875
Connecticut $792,138
Delaware $635,468
District of Columbia $619,046
Florida $1,668,223
Georgia $1,151,058
Hawaii $660,334
Idaho $673,166
Illinois $1,347,541
Indiana $1,089,732
Iowa $1,096,646
Kansas $748,995
Kentucky $836,044
Louisiana $839,117
Maine $662,343
Maryland $917,830
Massachusetts $967,216
Michigan $1,182,366
Minnesota $892,839
Mississippi $1,165,133
Missouri $933,278
Montana $640,998
Nebraska $689,511
Nevada $736,485
New Hampshire $662,261
New Jersey $1,100,044
New Mexico $707,123
New York $1,730,384
North Carolina $1,149,963
North Dakota $622,100
Ohio $1,265,235
Oklahoma $798,969
Oregon $806,700
Pennsylvania $1,322,607
Rhode Island $646,936
South Carolina $845,919
South Dakota $631,396
Tennessee $949,810
Texas $2,004,018
Utah $749,302
Vermont $621,004
Virginia $1,042,198
Washington $988,055
West Virginia $691,736
Wisconsin $916,838
Wyoming $615,157
Guam $10,303
Puerto Rico $234,122
Virgin Islands $6,442