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Harvest of the Month was initially created by several local school districts in California as part of a broader nutrition education effort targeted to low-income students. Recognizing the value of this approach, the California Department of Public Health adopted Harvest of the Month in 2005, launching a statewide effort that is standardized, cost-effective, replicable, and available to all.
Harvest of the Month features ready-to-go tools and resources that can be used in diverse applications to support healthy eating and daily physical activity. These tools and resources can be used in a variety of settings, including in:
All Harvest of the Month resources are based on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines are supported by extensive research that shows eating a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables and getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day can help children maintain a healthy weight and lower their risk for serious health problems. Studies also show that eating nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables can help students do better in school through improved learning, behavior, and attendance.
Harvest of the Month provides materials for students, families, and the community to engage in hands-on opportunities to explore, taste, and learn about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and being active every day. Resources provide the opportunity for collaboration among many partners and stakeholders, including educators, school nutrition staff, school administrators, students, parents, farmers, retail outlets, worksites, SNAP offices, after-school programs, and more—all of whom are striving toward the goal of increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables and increasing physical activity among low-income Californians.
The following list indicates which fruit and vegetables are in season. Each item has free monthly elements, including Educator Newsletters, Family Newsletters, Community Newsletters, and Menu Slicks.