80,000 Students in the Chicago Public Schools Sample Fresh-cut Mango, Thanks to the National Mango Board and Del Monte Fresh Produce
Produce Partners team-up to provide fruit samples, and mango-themed education materials to students, as part of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
CHICAGO, IL— April 25, 2017—The National Mango Board has teamed up with Del Monte Fresh Produce to donate mango samples, fact sheets, and promotional materials to students in the 97 Chicago Public Schools that participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). The sampling event will take place April 25th and benefit 80,000 children who attend elementary schools in the city’s highest poverty neighborhoods.
“Our mission is to increase the awareness and love for mangos in the United States, one bite at a time,” says Valda Coryat, Director of Marketing, at the National Mango Board. “We are so grateful to participate in the FFVP and to help provide fresh and nutritious fruit to students, many of whom may have never tried mango before. Every child should be given the opportunity to eat healthy, fresh produce.”
“We’re so pleased to be partnering with the National Mango Board and Chicago Public Schools to provide children in Chicago with the ability to try fresh-cut Mango, as part of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program,” said Dennis Christou, Vice President of Marketing – North America for Del Monte Fresh Produce. “Today is a special day that allows us to partner with the nation’s 3rd largest school district, one of our commodity partners, in the National Mango Board, and to showcase the benefits of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which helps introduce and encourage children to try new fresh fruits and vegetables at school,” he added.
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. works with the Chicago Public Schools, and many other school districts across the country, to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the FFVP. Today’s event represents the first example of Del Monte Fresh Produce partnering with a produce commodity organization to highlight a specific fruit or vegetable on a school’s FFVP menu. The National Mango Board donated interactive educational materials and mango themed rulers to educate students about mangos.
“The FFVP helps to increase children’s produce consumption at school and at home,” said Andrew Marshall, Director of Foundation Programs and Partnerships at the United Fresh Produce Association, a lead advocate for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. “Research has shown that in schools with the FFVP, students are more accepting of healthier school lunches that include fresh fruits and vegetables, and they are even going home and influencing their families to eat healthy, and choose fresh produce,” he added.
The FFVP benefits more than 4 million elementary school students in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and U.S. Territories. For more than a decade the FFVP has been an effective model for increasing children’s fruit and vegetable consumption and a catalyst for creating healthier school food environments. Students are introduced to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables through an in-class fresh fruit or vegetable snack, multiple times throughout the week. The fresh fruits and vegetables are often accompanied by a nutrition education lesson.
The FFVP is administered by the U.S Department of Agriculture, which provides annual funding to state Child Nutrition agencies. In the 2016-2017 schoolyear, more than $184 million was available for this program nationally, including $5.4 million to implement the FFVP in Illinois. The program started as a pilot program in the 2002 Farm Bill and expanded nationally in the 2008 Farm Bill.
About The National Mango Board
The National Mango Board is an agriculture promotion group, which is supported by assessments from both domestic and imported mangos. The board was designed to drive awareness and consumption of fresh mangos in the United States. Learn more at Mango.org.
About Del Monte Fresh Produce
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. is one of North America’s leading marketers and distributors of high-quality fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables. Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. markets its products in North America under the Del Monte® brand (as well as other brands), a symbol of product innovation, quality, freshness and reliability for over 125 years.
About the United Fresh Start Foundation
The United Fresh Start Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization focused exclusively on increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Affiliated with the United Fresh Produce Association, the Foundation is committed to helping today’s kid’s achieve the public health goal to make half their plate fruits and vegetables in order to live longer and healthier lives. The Foundation works to create an environment in which kids have easy access to high-quality, great-tasting and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, whenever and wherever they are choosing snacks or a meal.