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Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is applauding a vote by the Senate Appropriations Committee to continue funding for a fruit and vegetable program in Idaho schools that is helping both farmers and students. Crapo, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, worked to bring the program to 25 Idaho schools.While cautioning that the $500,000 in funding approval must still be matched by the full Senate and a likely conference between the Senate and the U.S. House, Crapo said the recognition of the program's benefits is important."We have now had time to evaluate this program which offers domestically-produced fruits and vegetables as healthy snacks in Idaho schools, and the feedback has been positive," Crapo said. "This program has helped address concerns about childhood obesity and nutrition by encouraging our students to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. We hope to continue creating long-term healthy habits for children and long-term markets for our fruit and vegetable growers."In November 2005, the President signed Public Law 109-97, which provided $751,800 to Idaho schools in an expansion of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) under the 2006 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. First operating as a four-state pilot program, FFVP provides free fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snacks to students in schools across the nation. Around 10,000 students and their teachers have participated and expressed widespread satisfaction with the program. Crapo credited his Idaho colleague Senator Larry Craig, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, for his assistance in helping fund important agriculture projects for Idahoans, including Potato Cyst Nematode eradication and research, rural development programs and a large number of other research efforts at Idaho universities.