More Healthy Options in School Cafeterias: Rep. Poliquin Reintroduces Bipartisan Legislation to Allow Greater Access to Fruits & Vegetables for Children
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Bruce Poliquin (ME-02) is reintroducing his bipartisan Fruit and Vegetable Access for Children Act, a bill that will give our children greater access to healthy fruits and vegetables in their school cafeterias.
The bill, which has the support of four Democratic and four Republican original cosponsors, will allow schools to have the option to use the money from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) to purchase additional forms of fruits and vegetables—fresh, frozen, canned, pureed, and dried—expanding the number of nutritious food options for schoolchildren.
Congressman Poliquin released the following statement:
“Our children should have greater access and more nutritious choices when it comes to the foods they eat at their school cafeterias,” said Congressman Poliquin. “As a parent, I believe it’s very important for our kids to have the opportunity to eat healthy fruits and vegetables, such as Maine wild blueberries, all school year round. I’m proud to join with my Democratic and Republican colleagues in pushing this bipartisan legislation forward.”
Said Nancy McBrady, Executive Director of the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine, “Maine frozen wild blueberries are an example of an extremely healthy and delicious fruit that is frozen at peak ripeness that locks in its nutritional benefits and can be used all year round. The more options schools—and our children—have for consuming healthy and affordable fruits and vegetables, the better. The Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine is happy to support Congressman Poliquin's bill.”
According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there is overwhelming nutritional consensus that Americans should increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, including fresh, frozen, canned and dried. In its various forms, fruit and vegetables are nutritionally similar. The FFVP, whose goal is to educate children on the foods they eat, ensures school children in low-income areas across the country receive nutritious snacks while learning about the many benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. By including these forms of fruit and vegetables, we ensure they have a comprehensive education.
Congressman Poliquin’s bipartisan bill would allow schools to maximize the value of program dollars. This bill ensures that schools have the options they need to continue to encourage a healthy diet throughout the school year. It gives schools flexibility in the use of their FFVP funds for the well-being of both our children and our schools.
The following Members of Congress are original cosponsors of Congressman Poliquin’s bill:
- Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR-05)
- Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-03)
- Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI-03)
- Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN-04)
- Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03)
- Congressman Luke Messer (R-IN-06)
- Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN-01)
- Congressman David Valadao (R-CA-21)