Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

A Component of the School Nutrition Programs

What is FFVP?

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is a federally assisted program providing free fresh fruits and vegetables to students in participating elementary schools during the school day. The goal of FFVP is to introduce new and different varieties, and to increase overall acceptance and consumption of fresh, unprocessed produce among children. FFVP also encourages healthier school environments by promoting nutrition education.

How does FFVP work?

Schools participating in FFVP submit monthly claims for reimbursement. Schools are reimbursed for the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables and non-food costs, such as operational labor, materials, and equipment.

When do I operate FFVP?

Schools have the flexibility to develop their own implementation plan, choose the type of produce, number of days a week (no less than 2 days a week), and times during the day (outside of NSLP and SBP operation) to provide free fresh fruits and vegetables to their students.

What schools are eligible for FFVP?

FFVP is available through and application process to schools that meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • At least 50% of students receive free or reduced price meals
  • Must be an elementary school (grades preschool through sixth)
  • Must operate NSLP and be in good standing
  • Must have support from all stakeholders

What do eligible schools need to do?

Eligible elementary schools must...

  • Submit an application and stakeholder signature pages to be considered for the program
  • Follow proper procurement procedures, track FFVP spending, retain all invoices and receipts, complete monthly claims for reimbursement, and undergo occasional site or administrative reviews
  • Agree to widely publicize the availability of the program

Schools are encouraged to develop partnerships to help implement the program, such as with local universities, extension services, and local grocers.

What types of fruits and vegetables must be served?

IDOE promotes serving a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Because the intent of 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 they are.”

Where to purchase?

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.


Ashley Heller or Maggie Schabel

FFVP Specialists

Visit the IDOE FFVP webpage.