International Fresh Produce Association Details Produce Plan for National Nutrition Strategy and Applauds Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act; Cathy Burns and Mollie Van Lieu Comment
NEWARK, DE & WASHINGTON, DC - The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) strives to place fresh fruits and vegetables at the forefront of nationwide nutrition strategies. To aid its mission, the association recently submitted an eight-point plan of recommendations to be unveiled at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September.
“IFPA and its Board of Directors believe our nation’s overweight and obesity epidemic cannot be reversed without a bold, targeted, systemic approach—a ‘fruit and vegetable nutrition moonshot’ by 2030—to increase Americans’ fruit and vegetable consumption,” said IFPA Chief Executive Officer Cathy Burns. “Now is the time to prioritize nutrition security for everyone. For fresh produce, there are barriers to that becoming a reality—some visible, some invisible—but overcoming all of them is why IFPA exists.”
With nutrition policy as one of the association’s priority issues for 2022, IFPA has been active on topics such as the expansion of the fruit and vegetable cash-value benefit in WIC, commenting on the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, greater prioritization of nutrition policy, and advocating for pro-nutrition and -produce legislation, in addition to several other areas.
In order to drive forward its goals, IFPA remains committed to collaborating with policymakers to prioritize nutrition policies that improve the nutrition and dietary quality of every United States citizen.
“This is an exciting time for our industry, as there is a lot of momentum around fruits and vegetables as the solution to diet-related disease,” said IFPA Vice President of Nutrition and Health, Mollie Van Lieu. “Systemic, scalable policy and programs are how we will embed and institutionalize the principle of ‘millions of mouths at a time’ and achieve the federal government’s dietary guidance to make half the plate fruits and vegetables.”
On the heels of the plan’s submission, the House Committee on Education and Labor introduced the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act, which includes several of IFPA’s recommendations, including expanding access to school meals, providing funding for school kitchen equipment, extending WIC benefits to age six, and researching the impact of mealtime on fruit and vegetable consumption.
“We applaud Committee Chair Bobby Scott and Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee Chair Suzanne Bonamici for continuing to build on Congressional efforts to expand school and summer meal programs and boost access to programs like WIC,” added Van Lieu. “As the CNR process moves forward, we encourage Congress to identify additional ways to increase children’s access to fruits and vegetables, like adding a dedicated benefit to Summer EBT and expanding the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.”
To read the 8-point plan, click here.
As IFPA fights to make nutrition a top priority for policymakers, stick with AndNowUKnow for updates.