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Fruit and Vegetable Opportunities at the Arizona Department of Education. Jessica Creed-Capsel Director of Food Distribution, DOD Fresh Produce, Farm to School, and School Gardens (602) 542-8781 or Objective.

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Fruit and Vegetable Opportunities at the Arizona Department of Education

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Fruit and Vegetable Opportunities at the Arizona Department of Education

Jessica Creed-Capsel

Director of Food Distribution, DOD Fresh Produce, Farm to School, and School Gardens

(602) 542-8781 or


To educate you on the programs available through the ADE that can help bring fruits and vegetables into Arizona schools.


  • USDA Foods

  • DOD Fresh Produce

  • FFVP

  • Farm to School

USDA Foods

  • Participants of the National School Lunch/Breakfast Programs

  • Makes up 15-25% of school lunch

  • Protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables (fresh, canned, and frozen, dried) – 180 different items

USDA Foods

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Over $326 million in 2010

  • Canned fruit – always extra light sucrose; unsweetened applesauce

  • Canned vegetables – 140mg of sodium or less

  • Fresh options available

  • New items for 2011-12 ** Dried fruit mix, figs, fresh apples

USDA Foods

  • Schools purchase these foods using USDA entitlement dollars, not out-of-pocket dollars

  • Program is customer driven

  • Arizona received $26 million in USDA Foods entitlement for school year 2011-12

    • 25% Fruits and Vegetables

    • 22% Beef

    • 11% Chicken

    • 22% Cheese

USDA Foods in Arizona

Arizona’s USDA Foods for school year 2011-12

  • Vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, peas, corn, tomatoes/tomato sauce, black-eyed peas, salsa

    • Beans: green, turtle, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, refried

  • Fruits: apples, oranges, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, apricots, peaches, pears, fruit mix, figs, raisins

Arizona Nutrition Network & USDA Foods

  • Promote the use of USDA Foods in the schools you work with

  • Provide nutrition education around the types of fruits and vegetables the school receives via USDA Foods

  • Encourage schools to choose the healthiest USDA Foods

Department of Defense Fresh Produce Program


  • 1993 – piloted in eight states ($3.2 million)

  • Partnership between DOD Troop Support & USDA

  • Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 sets aside $50 million/year to support the program in all participating states including US territories

DOD Program Overview

  • USDA Entitlement Dollars

    • Used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables

      • Supplement where USDA Foods cannot provide fresh

    • All American grown produce

    • Purchase through a single distributor

      • Stern Produce

        • - Sign a long term contract with the DOD Troop Support to provide service to schools and military bases

        • - Responsible for procurement, storage and distribution using commercial industry practices

DOD Fresh in Arizona

Arizona –

  • 2010-11 received $1.35 million (32 schools)

    • End of year balance was $0.25

  • 2011-12 received $2.5 million (50+ schools)

    Entitlements range from $700 - $250,000

Benefits of DOD Fresh Produce

  • Offer fresh fruits and vegetables for school lunches/breakfast

  • Receive weekly deliveries of only the amounts ordered

  • Door-to-Door delivery direct to warehouse, kitchen, or school sites

  • Schools purchase these foods using USDA entitlement dollars, not out-of-pocket dollars

  • Local produce options

How to get on the program

  • Participate in the National School Lunch Program

  • Participate in the USDA Foods Program

  • Contact ADE’s Food Distribution team

    • Open enrollment

    • No minimum Free/Reduced %

    • Must have available entitlement

    • Must spend your money!

Arizona Nutrition Network & DOD Fresh Produce Program

  • Promote the DOD Fresh to schools

  • Encourage schools to participate and to maximize their DOD entitlement dollars

  • Encourage variety in their DOD purchases

Background of FFVP

  • Pilot Program began in 2002 -2003 school year

    • 4 states and 1 ITO

  • 2004 National School Lunch Act

    • 4 additional states and 2 ITO’s

  • 2006 Appropriations Act

    • 6 additional states

Background of FFVP (cont.)

  • Farm Bill became law on May 22, 2008

    • Amended NSLA by adding Section 19, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

    • National program in 50 states

    • $49.9 million for the 2008-2009 school year

Program Goals

  • Goals of FFVP

    • Create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices

    • Expand the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience

    • Increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption

    • Make a difference in children’s diet to impact their present and future health


  • 2011-2012 school year, Arizona was awarded $3,162,258

  • USDA requires states to allocate $50-$75 per student, per school

  • Arizona allocated $52.67 per student

  • Reimbursement program

    • Use it or lose it

Program Regulations

  • What can be served?

    • Fresh fruits

    • Fresh vegetables

  • Encourage children to enjoy produce in their natural state

Program Regulations (cont.)

  • What can be served in limited amounts?

    • Vegetable dips (low-fat or fat free, yogurt based)

    • Cooked fresh vegetables (not canned, frozen or dried) that are part of a nutrition education lesson can be offered once a week

Program Regulations (cont.)

  • What cannot be served?

    • Processed or preserved fruits and vegetables (canned, frozen, dried or vacuum packed)

    • Dip for fruit

    • Fruit leather

    • Jellied fruit

    • Purchased freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice

    • Smoothies

    • Trail mix and nuts

    • Cottage cheese

    • Fruit and veggie pizzas

Program Regulations (cont.)

  • Who can have fruits and vegetables?

    • Students who normally attend your school (PreK - 8)

    • Head Start children

    • Split session kindergarten classes

    • School staff and parents if they are consuming with the students demonstrating behavior

Program Regulations (cont.)

  • Who cannot have fruits and vegetables?

    • Community members

    • Parents if students are not involved

    • School staff eating the produce alone

Program Regulations (cont.)

  • When can you serve?

    • Only during the school day but not during meal times

Program Regulations (cont.)

  • Where can you serve?

    • Classrooms

    • Cafeteria (not during meal times)

    • Playground/Recess

    • Offices

    • Hallways

    • Kiosks/Carts

    • Free vending machines

    • As part of nutrition education activities

Nutrition Education

  • Not required, but recommended

  • Nutrition Education materials are not reimbursable

  • ADE has partnered with Arizona Nutrition Network for materials

Joseph City Produce Cart

Fruit on Cart

Recess Snack

Apple Lesson at Gila Crossing

Cutting Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit

Enjoying the Produce

Produce Bar

Fruit Salad in Somerton

Nutrition Lesson

Strawberries & Raspberries for a Tea Party theme

Table is Set

Mixed Vegetable Cup

Cucumber Classroom Snack

Arizona Farm to School

  • New venture for Arizona

  • Creating partnerships with agricultural agencies (AZ Dept of Ag, Farm Bureau, Cooperative Ext, Arizona farmers)

  • Partnering with DOD vendor, Stern, to offer local produce to DOD participants


DOD Fresh Produce Program vs Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

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