by Tom KarstSuccessful in leading a campaign to donate 100 salad bards to Texas schools, Dan’l Mackey Almy, president of DMA Solutions, Irving, Texas, challenges the produce industry to donate 500 salad bars in the next year, during a May 1 press conference at the United Fresh Produce expo in Dallas. Dallas — Bringing the total of salad bars to 1,600 over two years, the United Fresh Foundation is donating 100 salad bars to Texas schools.
In a separate announcement, HBO Entertainment said it plans to donate 100 salad bars to schools across the U.S., highlighting “The Weight of the Nation,” a documentary airing May 14-15.
The noon announcements kicked off the opening of the expo floor at United Fresh 2012.
“Today is a really big day for us,” said Lorelei DiSogra, vice president of nutrition for the Washington, D.C.-based foundation. DiSogra said the donations to Texas schools will help 60,000 children eat more fruits and vegetables.
United Fresh is a founding member of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign, supported by first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program. The 1,600 schools that have received salad bars reach about one million children, DiSogra said.
She credited Dan’l Mackey Almy for leading the success of the Texas donations. Mackey Almy is president of DMA Solutions, Irving, Texas, co-host of the Dallas convention and chairwoman of the nutrition council for United Fresh.
“She has been our champion,” DiSogra said.
Mackey Almy said she was pleased to meet the United Fresh Foundation’s goal of 100 salad bars. At United Fresh 2011 in New Orleans, the group pledged 43 salad bars to local schools.
Speaking to a crowd of industry leaders that donated the salad bars and officials from schools receiving the equipment, Mackey Almy expressed appreciation.
“In our humble way, we said we wanted to do it bigger in Dallas, Texas, and thanks to many of you we have been able to meet and exceed our goal,” she said.
Mackey Almy challenged Southern California leaders to beat the Texas donations; United Fresh 2013 will be in San Diego.
She also asked the produce industry to donate another 500 salad bars by mid-May next year.
“We can do this,” she said. “We can make this happen.”
“This shows you the level of corporate commitment outside the produce industry for what we are trying to do,” she said. “Hopefully thatt kind of donation will encourage others outside our industry to donate.”
“The Weight of the Nation,” focuses on the obesity problem among U.S. youth.