Dear Friends at the USDA,
As a school foodservice professional dedicated to childhood nutrition, I would like to encourage you to add single-serve, shelf-stable plastic peach cups to the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program.
I know that my kids enjoy eating all forms of fruit – fresh, canned, frozen, and dried – and it is important for our school district to have all options available to us. By serving peaches, not only do I know that I am serving kids a fruit they will eat, but I know that I am serving a fruit that is nutritionally exceptional. (A preliminary study conducted by OSU and the Linus Pauling Institute shows that canned peaches are 7x higher in Vitamin A than fresh; frozen are 10x higher!)
In this time of strict budget cuts, where directors are faced with having to do more for less and when labor is extremely tight, access to single-serve, shelf-stable peach cups would be most welcome. The peach cups would also assist schools in areas where it is geographically difficult to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables for use in the Snack Program. They are convenient, ready-to-serve, nutritionally equivalent to fresh, loved by kids, and they would make for a great addition to our school snack programs. I support the effort to broaden the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program to include items such as shelf-stable peach cups from California.