Do you think I'm joking? I wish I was.
Quoted directly from the USDA website.
"FFVP [Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program] can be an important tool in our efforts to combat childhood obesity. The Program has been successful in introducing school children to a variety of produce that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to sample."
It is stipulated in the guidelines that these fruits and vegetables cannot be served in conjunction with breakfast or lunch. They MUST be served at another inconvenient time...like when teachers are trying to do that thing that they were trained to do...what is it again? Oh yeah...teach.
Fruits are to be dispensed on Tuesdays and veggies on Thursdays. Each day the teachers are given a one page education sheet about the food to share with their students. And only teachers who become wait staff during this time are allowed to partake in the eating of said fruits and veggies.
Here are two sample "teaching sheets". Am I the only one that hasn't heard of Jicama?
September's Fruit and Veggie Calendar
Do you have questions about this program?
I did, and this is what I found in the FAQs.
Remember just click on a picture to enlarge it.
This past Thursday tri-colored Bell Peppers were on the menu. They came pre-cut in their own pre-sealed packages. Now, I guess the government hasn't been in a grocery store recently because bell peppers are not cheap...especially the colored ones. I LOVE to eat raw bell peppers as a snack, but I only acquired this taste as an adult. Like many children, bell peppers were not something I ate as a kid. So the other day during "snack time" which also happens to be right in the middle of math class, I got buzzed from the office to send a messenger to pick up our snacks. Now what does a classroom of students do when they know food is on the way, well they stop paying attention to me, that's for sure.
Once the coveted "free food" had arrived and I passed out the packages, the happy faces turned into confused expressions. I told them peppers are good for them and they just looked at me, many upset when I said they were called Bell peppers and not Jalapenos. They opened the packages, got a smell of the peppers, and turned up their noses. Some of them actually tasted the peppers and I bet you can guess what happened next. Almost every student got up and threw their peppers in the garbage.
So what lessons did we learn...
- That "introducing school children to a variety of produce that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to sample" will end up in the garbage.
- That the longer school day is just that l-o-n-g-e-r...longer does not equate to better by any means.
- The government just can't wait to continue to waste other people's money!
I bet most of the kids couldn't wait to get out of school and eat flamin' hot chips and pop.