Vegetables & Fruits

Farm Bill Text Boosts Consumer Access to Frozen Vegetables, Fruits

LinkedIn Pinterest Tumblr

The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) has welcomed the release of proposed text for the 2024 Farm Bill, issued on May 17 by the House Agriculture Committee, and recognizes Agriculture Committee Chairman G.T. Thompson for his leadership. AFFI specifically thanked the Pennsylvania Republican for “ensuring that all Americans have access to nutritious, quality food options through the inclusion of frozen fruits and vegetables in key nutrition programs.”

The bill encourages the US Department of Agriculture to give equal consideration to all forms of produce in programs funded through the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). The Farm Bill text also specifically includes requiring all forms of fruits and vegetables, including frozen produce, in the USDA’s Produce Prescription Program.

These provisions were first included in H.R. 3127, the Supporting All Healthy Options When Purchasing Produce. (SHOPP) Act, introduced in 2023 by Representatives Mark Alford (R-Missouri-4) and Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas-30). The bipartisan SHOPP Act is overwhelmingly supported with 30 House co-sponsors and five Senate co-sponsors of the companion bill, S. 2223, led by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-New Mexico).

“At a time when our country is in a produce consumption crisis, it is essential for our federal nutrition programs to be practical and offer support for all Americans,” said AFFI President and CEO Alison Bodor. “We thank Chairman Thompson and the entire House Agriculture Committee for their work to make produce consumption easier thanks to the expansion of frozen food in nutrition programs.”

Research finds that people who eat frozen fruits and vegetables consume more total fruits and vegetables than others. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are fresh-frozen within hours of harvest, capturing nutrients and taste while minimizing food waste in the home.

“As both chambers enter into conference, AFFI urges Congress to preserve this important legislative language that includes frozen food,” added Bodor. “We are hopeful that Congress acts quickly to finalize a Farm Bill that provides practical nutrition solutions.”