The United States Department of Agriculture Policies to Improve School Food Quality While Protecting the Environment
In the United States, the Farm Bill is the primary agriculture and food policy legislation and its administration is under the preview of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA has established policies and programs aimed at providing school children with better food and at the same time, supporting local farmers. The Farm to School Program connects schools and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school and supporting local and regional farmers. It is believed that local and regional farmers are deeply committed to social and environmental concerns. The Farm to School Program is now operational in more than 10,000 schools spanning all 50 states. In 2008, the Farm Bill allowed food service directors to give preference to local products. The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) combats childhood obesity by helping children learn more healthful eating habits. The current study examines this program in a selected school to evaluate the program implementation and variables that can improve the success of the program. Students, teachers, and parents have generally received the FFVP program very well and most stated that the students highly enjoy the program. The selection of fruits and vegetables to be offered depended on the budget as well as the food popularity, which limited offering of culturally salient fruits and vegetables. A better education strategy is needed to promote vegetable intake to achieve the full potential value of the program. Increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers leads to a reduction in food transportation distance, which directly reduces environmental impact.
MSU Digital Commons Citation
Wunderlich, Shahla; Bai, Yeon; and Chung, S., "The United States Department of Agriculture Policies to Improve School Food Quality While Protecting the Environment" (2013). Department of Nutrition and Food Studies Scholarship and Creative Works. 110.