100 Texas Schools to Receive Salad Bars from Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools

More than 60,000 children throughout Texas will begin the next school year with access to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day because of new salad bars thanks to the United Fresh Foundation’s efforts to engage the produce industry to support salad bars for Texas schools, as part of the national Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative. In a ceremony Tuesday, United Fresh announced the donation of salad bars to 100 schools across the state. The event, titled “Let’s Move Salad Bars to Texas Schools” brought together school administrators, government, and child nutrition officials, local health and wellness advocates and produce industry donors to recognize the 100 recipient schools and the more than 60 donor companies. The donation comes as the fresh fruit and vegetable industry converges on Dallas for United Fresh 2012, the annual convention and expo of the United Fresh Produce Association.

“This donation to 100 Texas schools marks one of the largest Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools events in the country and we are so proud to be part of it. Produce industry members from across the United States have rallied to support salad bars for Texas schools, a fantastic example of our members’ commitment to increasing fresh fruit and vegetable consumption for tens of thousands of students in Texas and across the nation,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel.

Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation. United Fresh is a founding partner of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which has a goal of donating salad bars to 6,000 schools nationwide by 2013. Over the last several years, United Fresh has been a driving force behind the nationwide adoption of school fruit and vegetable salad bars as a proven strategy for significantly increasing children’s produce consumption.

“Research and school experience shows that students eat more fresh produce when they have a salad bar that provides a variety of colorful choices of fruits and vegetables every school day,” said Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh vice president of nutrition & health. “School salad bars are one of the easiest ways for schools to meet the new national school lunch standards, which call for doubling the amount of fruits and vegetables served everyday at lunch. Schools that have salad bars also make it easy for students to ‘Make Half Their Plate Fruits and Vegetables,’ as recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”

“The Frisco ISD is excited about the opportunity to begin the new school year with 10 new salad bars. Our district has received USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge Award, and the salad bars will be another way for us to get our students excited about selecting fruits and vegetables as part of their school lunch,” said Debera Tredennick, director of child nutrition programs for Frisco ISD. “The new USDA school meal regulations are going to require students to take a fruit or vegetable at lunch; the salad bars will present fruits and veggies in such a way that our students will really want to select and eat more of these healthy items.”

The Hurst Euless Bedford ISD, located just outside Dallas, is also excited to receive new salad bars. “Our district will receive salad bars for 10 of our schools thanks to Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools,” said Mary Beth Ratzloff, foodservice director for the Hurst Euless Bedford ISD. “Last school year, a salad bar at one of our elementary schools really grabbed the attention of other schools. We’ve been pleasantly surprised about how well all of the salad bars we’ve installed were received by our students. It’s clear they enjoy ‘coloring their plates’ by choosing their own fruits and vegetables from the variety of options at the salad bar, and it’s great to see how excited students are to eat their salads. The salad bars have really helped compliment our other efforts to teach students about the importance of eating more healthful fresh fruits and vegetables.”

All school districts receiving salad bars include: Center ISD, Coppell ISD, Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD, Faith Family Academy Charters, Frisco ISD, Goose Creek Consolidated ISD, Houston ISD, Hull Daisetta ISD, Hurst Euless Bedford ISD, Lancaster ISD, Luling ISD, McAllen ISD, Mt. Pleasant ISD, Pittsburg ISD, Richardson ISD, San Perlita ISD, St. Gregory the Great Catholic School and Victory Preparatory Academy.

The salad bar donations are made possible by the generous contributions of the following companies/individuals: Andrew & Williamson Sales Co., Andrew Smith Company, BC Hot House Foods, Inc., Booth Ranches LLC, Borton & Sons, Inc., Brandt Farms, Bunzl, Inc., C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Calavo Growers, California Giant Berry Farms, Chiquita Brands International, Ciruli Brothers, Combs Produce, Continental Sales Co., Crunch Pak Sliced Apples, Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Diamond Onions, DMA Solutions, Dole Food Company, Domex Superfresh Growers, DuPont Crop Protection, Earthbound Farm, Fidelity Investments, First Fruits Marketing of Washington, Fresh Farms, FreshPoint Dallas, Freshway Foods, Frontera Produce, Growers Express, Hardie’s Fruit & Vegetable Company, HBO, Horton Fruit Company, Houston Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association, IFCO SYSTEMS, N.A., J & J Produce, JAB Produce,Jay & Ruth Pack Family Foundation, Locus Traxx, Mackey-Almy Family Fund, Mann Packing Company, Marie’s, Mucci Farms, Murphy Tomatoes DFW, Inc., National Watermelon Association, NatureSweet, Onions Etc., Paramount Citrus, ProHealth LLC, Rio Queen Citrus, Southern Specialties, Steffanie Smith, Tanimura & Antle, Taylor Farms, Texas Produce Association, Texas Vegetable Association, True Organic Products, Village Farms and Whole Foods Market.