Many produce professionals will gather in Washington, DC, from September 28 through September 30 as part of United Fresh Produce Association’s Washington Conference. A lot of eyes will be on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recently released Food Safety Modernized Act (FSMA) Preventative Controls for Human Food rule, while other eyes will be on the potential government shutdown. But equally important to those of us in the business of fresh fruits and vegetables is the debate around the 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
The requirement that school breakfasts and lunches include a half cup serving of fresh fruit or vegetables is at risk of being rolled back. Robinson Fresh has been a strong advocate for increasing students’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables by attending the annual United Fresh Washington Conference and donating over 21 salad bars to schools across the country over the past six years.
United Fresh’s Tom Stenzel said it best in a recent release, “Schools serving a variety of great tasting fresh fruits and vegetables—often providing kids with choices in a fruit and veggie/salad bar—have been highly successful in meeting the modest requirement of including at least a half cup of a fruit and vegetable in school lunch. When public health authorities call for us to consume half our plate in fruits and vegetables, how could anyone think it’s too much to provide our kids a half cup? Without that modest portion in a lunch, health professionals would be embarrassed to call it a meal. Today, children in America eat less than half the daily amount of fruits and vegetables recommended for their health. It’s critically important that children have access to more fruits and vegetables and at least a half cup at every meal.”
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