The United Fresh Produce Association announced at the United Fresh 2014 Convention in Chicago that it has donated salad bars to 200 Midwest schools in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The donation is estimated to benefit around 100,000 students, providing a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in school lunches.
United Fresh said that this is just the beginning of the United Fresh Foundation’s multi-year Let’s Move Salad Bars to Midwest Schools campaign, according to a news release. The goal of the campaign is to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables students eat.
“Our philosophy is to provide our students with fresh produce every day. We believe salad bars are teaching our students about the importance of eating healthy, that fruits and vegetables are delicious and should be part of every meal,” Bertrand Weber, director of culinary and nutrition services for the Minneapolis Public Schools, said in the release. “We currently have salad bars in 31 of our 62 Minneapolis Public Schools and our goal is to expand our salad bar program to more schools.”
More than 40 companies in a variety of fields, including many in the produce industry, made the salad bar donations possible.
“We are at a pivotal moment in school nutrition,” United Fresh chief executive officer Tom Stenzel said in the release. “Our industry is committed to helping schools serve a wide variety of fresh fruits and I’m thrilled to see so many produce industry leaders and businesses step forward to support the salad bar campaign.”