The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), along with a coalition of more than 50 other trade associations, is urging the US House of Representatives to expand USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to allow schools to serve frozen fruits and vegetables.

“As confirmed by Frozen Food Foundation-commissioned nutritional studies conducted by the Universities of Georgia (UGA) and California-Davis (UC Davis), frozen fruits and vegetables are as rich in nutrients, and often more so, than fresh-stored produce,” says Joseph Clayton, AFFI interim president. “As the House Education and Workforce committees begins to consider reauthorization of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, we urge the committee to include language to expand the FFVP to allow schools to serve fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables.”

The coalition penned a letter to leaders in the House Education and Workforce committees stressing that USDA’s own 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that Americans eat more fruits and vegetables, regardless of the form, and expanding the FFVP would align the program with the agency’s recommendations.

The coalition wrote, “Expanding the program to allow frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables in addition to fresh would provide school nutritionists with an affordable option for increasing the variety of healthy fruits and vegetables schools can offer year-round, thus furthering the program’s ability to promote improved childhood nutrition and serve more children.”