Students at a Philadelphia school can now dine on healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, thanks to a salad bar from the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market and United Fresh Produce Association.

United Fresh, Philadelphia market donate school salad barMore than 700 high school students at The Esperanza Academy Charter School have access to the salad bar, donated through United Fresh’s partnership in the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative.

Poor nutrition in Philadelphia’s economically disadvantaged communities leads to disproportionately high rates of childhood obesity, diabetes and other chronic illnesses, Rev. Luis Cortés Jr., school founder and president, said in a news release.

“We need to attack these challenges with every tool at our disposal, and a salad bar in our cafeteria helps us take another important step in the right direction toward a healthier community,” Cortés said in the release. “We have access to a captive audience in our schools to promote healthy eating, and we appreciate the PWPM and the United Fresh Produce Association for their investment in our young people.”

In the release, Tad Thompson, the market’s business development manager, said the market’s distributors are honored to contribute to the mission of the school.

“There are many needs in Philadelphia to increase fresh produce consumption,” Thompson said. “This is a nice step in the right direction.”