Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information
Date: March 2014
To: Public School Districts, Direct Funded Charter Schools, and County Superintendent of Schools
Attention: Food Service Director, Chief Business Official, and Chief Financial Officer
Reference: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Grants 2014–15
Subject: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant Opportunities for Elementary Schools (July 1, 2014–June 30, 2015)
The California Department of Education (CDE), Nutrition Services Division (NSD), is announcing a grant opportunity for elementary schools to participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). This FFVP grant period is July 1, 2014–June 30, 2015. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the FFVP at the federal level and the NSD administers the FFVP in California.
All eligible agencies (please see the Grant Eligibility section for more information) interested in receiving a 2014–15 FFVP grant must respond to this request for applications, including both current FFVP grantees (2013–14) and new applicants.
The purpose of the FFVP is to provide all children in a participating elementary school with a variety of free fresh fruit and vegetable snacks throughout the school day as a supplement to (and not part of) the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and to teach students about good nutrition. The FFVP also encourages schools to partner with other entities in the community to support their program efforts.
The FFVP began as a pilot project authorized by Congress in 2002. The pilot provided funds to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in four states. The purpose of the pilot was to determine the best practices for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
The success of the pilot led to the enactment of legislation in 2004 to expand the FFVP and to make it a permanent program under the National School Lunch Act. In May 2008, Congress permanently authorized the FFVP nationwide and provided a significant funding increase each year.
- First participated in July 2008 with $184,101 and funded 24 pilot schools
- Received an additional $2.5 million in October 2008 and funded an additional 107 schools during School Year (SY) 2008–09
- Received $5 million in SY 2009–10 and funded 144 school sites
- Received $7.6 million in SY 2010–11 and funded 209 school sites
- Received $10.8 million in SY 2011–12 and funded 315 school sites
- Received $11.2 million in SY 2012–13 and funded 342 school sites
- Received $11.3 million in SY 2013–14 and funded 367 school sites
California’s FFVP funding for SY 2014–15 is expected to total $11.5 million to support the funding of approximately 375 schools. The NSD will provide funding for these grants as long as funds are available and will award grants on a reimbursement basis. Grant awards will be based on student enrollment and range from $50 to $75 per student per school. As required by federal law, the NSD will choose schools based on their percentage of free and reduced-price students with priority given to schools with the highest percentages of low-income students to the maximum extent practicable. However, the NSD may select a school with a lower percentage of free and reduced-price enrollment over a school with a higher percentage to either manage the per-student allocation requirements of $50 to $75 or if there are significant concerns about a school’s ability to properly implement and operate the FFVP.
To be eligible for the FFVP, an agency must be a School Food Authority (SFA). According to Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), Section 210.2, an SFA is defined as the governing body which is responsible for the administration of one or more schools; and has the legal authority to operate the program therein or be otherwise approved by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to operate the program.
The following are considered SFAs and are eligible to apply for an FFVP grant:
- School districts and county offices of education (COE) are eligible to apply on behalf of their school sites. In addition, the school district or COE may apply on behalf of a direct-funded charter school if the school district or COE operates the NSLP for the direct-funded charter school.
- Direct-funded charter schools that operate their own NSLP are eligible to apply individually.
- Private elementary schools that operate their own NSLP are eligible to apply individually.
- Residential child care institutions that operate their own NSLP are eligible to apply individually if they operate an elementary school during the day.
To apply and receive an FFVP grant, an SFA must be in good standing in the operation of all other federal Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) (including the NSLP, SBP, etc.). Good standing means an SFA cannot be documented as being seriously deficient in managing any USDA CNP. The SFA cannot have outstanding administrative or program findings documenting violations of the requirements of any CNP (7 CFR, sections 211.10(c), 226.6(c)(3)(ii), 225.11(c), and 210.24; and the USDA FFVP Handbook for Schools, December 2010, pages 4–5). Please refer to the grant application instructions (page 2) for additional information on good standing determination.
New: In accordance with 7 CFR, Section 210.14(b), an SFA shall limit its net cash resources (NCR) to an amount that does not exceed three-months’ average expenditures for its food service account. The NSD may consider an SFA that exceeds their NCR limit, is on a spending plan as part of corrective action, or has a proactive budget agreement ineligible to receive an FFVP grant.
To receive an FFVP grant, a school must meet the following minimum criteria:
- Be an elementary school
- Operate the NSLP
- Have 50 percent or more of its students eligible for free and reduced-price meals
- Agree to make free fresh fruits and vegetables available during the school day as a snack to all enrolled children
- Agree to offer the FFVP snack a minimum of three times per week
- Agree to offer nutrition education at least one time per week as part of the FFVP
- Widely publicize the availability of fresh fruit and vegetable snacks within the school
- Have documented support of the food service manager, principal, and district superintendent
- Submit a grant application package by the deadline
- Be in good standing with the operation of all other CNPs (as defined and noted above)
Grant Application and Deadline
You can download the grant application package and instructions from the CDE Available Funding Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fo/af/.
The NSD must receive an original grant application package from the SFA by mail or hand delivery by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted. The NSD will not process incomplete, illegible, or late applications. Copies, faxed, or e-mailed submissions will not be accepted.
If you have questions regarding this MB, please contact the FFVP by e-mail at FFVP@cde.ca.gov or contact Isabelle Le, Program Specialist, by phone at 916-322-4792, or Elizabeth Moreno, Nutrition Education Consultant, by phone at 916-324-9749.