The United Fresh Foundation and partner produce companies have rallied to make fresh and healthy salad bars a reality in Texas schools. The Foundation and partners have set a goal to donate 100 salad bars to schools in the state that will host United Fresh 2012, and are asking industry colleagues to join in the charitable commitment. The cost to sponsor a salad bar is $2,500. More information on how to donate is available  Click Here.

“Salad bars are a sustainable investment in the health of children, teaching the next generation of produce consumers to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables from an early age,” says Dan’l Mackey Almy, United Fresh Nutrition & Health Council Chairwoman and President of the Irvington, Texas-based produce industry marketing firm DMA Solutions. “This campaign gives schools the unique opportunity to turn lunchtime into a teachable moment by educating kids about nutritious and delicious fresh fruits and vegetables while giving them choices about what they eat. Texas is a significant market for our industry and as we come together in Dallas this May for United Fresh, let’s create a positive impact by funding salad bars.”

According to Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh vice president of nutrition and health, “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.  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.”

On May 1, United will host a press event to announce the donation of new salad bars for Dallas-area schools. United will recognize sponsors at the event and at the United Fresh 2012 Opening General Session. Sponsoring companies will be featured prominently in signage and printed materials at the convention, as well as on the United Fresh and Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools  websites saladbars2schools.org/ . Most importantly, the donation of salad bars showcases the major health benefits of fruits and vegetables and the produce industry’s commitment to combating childhood obesity.

United is a founding partner of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, a national initiative that has donated salad bars to more than 1,000 schools nationwide, increasing children’s access and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in school lunch every day. Last spring at United Fresh 2011, salad bars were donated to 33 New Orleans schools. The event attracted school administrators, students, government officials, community advocates and produce company donors.

To learn more about how you can make a difference in Dallas and support salad bars for Texas schools, contact Andrew Marshall <mailto:amarshall@unitedfresh.org> , United Fresh policy and grassroots manager at 202-303-3407 or amarshall@unitedfresh.org <mailto:amarshall@unitedfresh.org> .