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Evaluating the Fruits and Vegetables Pilot Program (FVPP): The view from Zuni

John M. Booker, PhD, Institute for Public Health, University of New Mexico, 2300 Menaul NE Ste 400, MSC 07 4085, Albuquerque, NM 87107, 505 272 3775, jbooker@salud.unm.edu and Shirley Pareo, MS, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, 2701 Frontier NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131.

The FVPP, funded by the USDA, was intended to demonstrate the feasibility of providing healthy fruit and vegetable ‘snacks’ twice daily to school children in select school districts in the US. As the only rural and American Indian community included in the program, Zuni provided interesting opportunities for insight into the workings of the program. The evaluation focused on the means of implementation, feasibility, acceptability, effects, perceived value, limitations of the project in the community, and factors contributing to the success of the program, and was conducted through interviews with principals, teachers, students, parents, food service workers, state agency representatives and community leaders, and site observations of the delivery of the fruits and vegetables. Findings indicated that 1) the pilot program could be successfully implemented with existing staff, 2) students at all grade levels were generally enthusiastic participants, 3) the pilot program at differing sites reflected the attitudes and support of school administrators, 4) while recognizing the potential long term benefits to the children, the short term reduction of hunger among the children was widely recognized, and seen as a positive influence on overall diet, and 5) that community enthusiasm and teacher involvement were key to the program’s success. Rising rates of childhood obesity, poor nutrition, and resulting increases in diabetes might support a change in federal policy towards schools, perhaps a program of “No Child Left Hungry.”

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: What's New?

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA