The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), Child Nutrition Unit (CNU) is accepting applications from elementary schools that want to participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) for School Year 2009-2010.
This is a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) program which provides reimbursement for fresh fruits and fresh vegetables served free to students during the school day (not before school or after school) and outside the lunch and breakfast meals. The fresh fruits and vegetables CANNOT BE SERVED AT REGULAR STUDENT MEAL PERIODS.
GOALS OF THE FFVP ARE TO:
• 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 diets to impact present and future health
SCHOOL SELECTION CRITERIA INCLUDE:
• Must be an elementary school (USDA definition of elementary is any school with a combination of grades K-8)
• Operate the National School Lunch Program
• Submit an application for participation that meets all criteria
• Have 50% or more of the school’s students eligible for free/reduced price meals
• Be chosen based on the percentage of free/reduced price students with the highest priority given to schools with the highest percentages of low-income students, to the maximum extent practicable.
The selection of elementary schools will be based on applications with the highest scores as submitted by schools and evaluated using criteria required by federal regulations. This grant is for the period August 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010. The level of funding provided is based on October 1, 2008, official school enrollment at a level ranging between $50-75 per student. Please note, this federal funding level may be adjusted by the Congressional Budget process for approval of the USDA federal budget beginning October 1, 2009.
Pre-school enrollment will only be funded if it is a part of a district funded elementary school program (i.e. included in the LEA’s October 1, 2008, Pre-K enrollment).
To be considered for this program, complete and return Attachment
B – Arkansas Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Application–SY 2009-2010. The application MUST be RECEIVED by Tuesday, March 10, 2009, to:
Sheila Brown, MSE, RD, LD
Child Nutrition Unit, Arkansas Department of Education
2020 West 3rd Street, Suite 404
Little Rock, AR 72205
Faxed applications will be accepted until 4:00 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2009, at (501) 324-9505.
EVALUATION CRITERIA – Please see Attachment C - ”Arkansas FFVP Application Scoring Criteria Form” for specific scoring criteria and points distribution for each criteria.
COMMENTS ON EVALUATION CRITERIA
Although the federal criteria for selection of the elementary schools chosen to participate requires that the schools have at least 50% of the students eligible for free or reduced price meals, the criteria gives priority to schools (to the maximum extent practicable) that have the highest percentages of low-income students. One section of the “Scoring Criteria” will be awarded based on the Free/Reduced Price Meal Eligibility. All schools concerned with the nutritional well-being of students are encouraged to submit an application. Please keep in mind that schools may be selected with lower percentages of free/reduced price eligible children, if the implementation plan is innovative and shows commitment.
In the application narrative, please give details about any partnerships that would provide non-federal resources for the acquisition, handling, promotion or distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables or other support that contributes to the purposes of the program.
Letters of Support should identify specifically what the supporting organization/agency will do to enhance the FFVP program and help meet the objectives. Letters of support should not merely say that the organization/agency agrees that the proposal is a good idea. If no specific resources, activities or other means of support are identified in a letter of support, no points will be awarded.
Three (3) “extra points” will be awarded if a school is either already officially enrolled as a “USDA Team Nutrition School” or if the school returns the “USDA Team Nutrition School Enrollment Form” with the application. See Attachment E.
USE OF FUNDS
Funds are to be used primarily to purchase, prepare and distribute fresh fruits and fresh vegetables that will be made available AT NO CHARGE TO ALL STUDENTS in the school at times other than lunch and/or breakfast. The program should be structured so that the maximum benefits go to children. Selected schools will submit a FFVP Claim for Reimbursement to ADE, CNU as well as necessary supporting documentation of expenses.
Allowable expenses from this grant include fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, non-food supplies required to implement the program (such as napkins, paper plates, etc.), labor expenses for staff preparing, serving and cleaning up. Up to 10% of the school's grant award may be used to pay administrative costs including documented expenses for planning and managing the paperwork required by the program, purchasing the equipment necessary to implement the program.
Funds MAY NOT be used for promotional activities, to supplement the lunch or breakfast program, for nutrition education materials and/or activities, or for indirect or other administrative costs.
EXPECTATIONS OF PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS
Because USDA is required to submit reports to Congress, FFVP schools will be expected to cooperate in any evaluations and be able to provide information about participation, purchases, costs and other information. A district’s Child Nutrition Agreement will be amended to reflect any schools in the district that are selected to participate in the FFVP program.
HOW TO APPLY
1) Read the “USDA Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program Handbook, August 26, 2008” – Attachment A. Review grant requirements and ‘best practices’ within the USDA Handbook for FFVP implementation ideas.
2) Complete an “Arkansas Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Application–SY 2009-2010” for each elementary school applying for the program –
3) Review the “Arkansas FFVP Application Scoring Criteria Form”–
4) Use the “Sample Letter of Support” to gather letters from partners – Attachment D. Submit NO MORE than 3 Letters of Support.
5) Complete the “USDA Team Nutrition Enrollment Form” – Attachment E. Return the form with the completed FFVP Application for School Year 2009-2010 for 3 “extra points”.
Respond to the questions on the application. The answers will be used to score the application. The materials should be well presented, well organized, complete, clear and concise. Please limit responses to the space provided. If responses are typed, font size should be no smaller than 12 point Times New Roman. If hand written, responses must be legible and written in blue or black ink only. Applications will not be returned. Please keep a copy of the application in the school’s records.
Each application narrative submitted should be specific to the individual school. The responses to questions should be school specific, address the selection criteria, grades served, resources available, and how the faculty and staff will work together to implement the grant, etc. Remember to include any information about partnerships schools may have that would support the program with non-federal funds.
DO NOT WRITE ONE GENERIC PROPOSAL FOR THE DISTRICT and submit with individual school applications. The staffing information and signature sheet (page 7) of the application must also be completed. Applications must be completed and received by ADE, CNU by Tuesday, March 10, 2009.
Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Applications without required signatures will not be considered.
For any questions, please contact Sheila Brown, FFVP Grant Manager, at 501-324-9502.
Please consider taking part in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program as another way to help students develop lifelong healthful eating habits.