PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine congressman says he plans to go forward with a proposal to include frozen and canned foods in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program despite criticism from the program’s founder.
The proposal by Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin is part of the federal Farm Bill that’s wending its way through approvals. Poliquin cites Maine blueberries as an example of a frozen food that could help the program. The proposal also opens it up to dried and pureed foods.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture program provides money to buy fresh fruits and vegetables for school snacks.
Retired Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, of Iowa, initiated the program in 2002. He has criticized Poliquin’s plan to alter the program, saying, “once you start whittling away at it, it’s no longer a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program.”