Pro*Act donates $50,000 to the United Fresh Foundation's salad bars to schools campaign on Oct. 3. Max Yeater (from left), president of Pro*Act; Phil Muir, president of Copper Canyon Farms; Steve Grinstead, CEO of Pro*Act; and  Ron Midyett, CEO of Apio Inc.
Pro*Act donates $50,000 to the United Fresh Foundation's salad bars to schools campaign on Oct. 3. Max Yeater (from left), president of Pro*Act; Phil Muir, president of Copper Canyon Farms; Steve Grinstead, CEO of Pro*Act; and Ron Midyett, CEO of Apio Inc.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The bar for salad bars has been raised again.

An ambitious goal of giving salad bars to 350 California schools has been set by the United Fresh Foundation to coincide with the May 2013 United Fresh convention in San Diego.

“It’s a huge goal, but we know with 29 of California’s top produce industry leaders working on this, we will accomplish this,” said Lorelei DiSogra, vice president of nutrition and health for the United Fresh Produce Association.

A May 15 press event at the United Fresh show in San Diego will call attention to the donations, according to a news release. The donations are a tradition during the annual convention. In 2011, the association gave 43 salad bars to New Orleans schools, and this year salad bars were donated to 100 Texas schools.

The Lets Move Salad Bars to California Schools campaign is led by Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s Inc.; Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin, vice president of community development at Taylor Farms; Lisa McNeece, vice president of foodservice and industrial sales for Grimmway Enterprises, Inc.; and Dick Spezzano, president for Spezzano Consulting.

With contributions from Dole and Crunch Pak, produce companies have already donated 102 salad bars toward the goal, Caplan said at an Oct. 3 luncheon during United Fresh’s Washington Public Policy Conference.

Steve Grinstead, CEO of Pro*Act, also announced a $50,000 donation from the company to the United Fresh Foundation for the salad bar program.

There are 180 California schools that have already received salad bars from United Fresh members and other Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools contributors, according to the release.

Members of the California campaign are:

  • Jerry Butt, Mixtec Group
  • Mark Carroll, Gelson’s
  • Greg Corrigan, Raley’s
  • Marty Craner, B & C Fresh Sales
  • Jan Delyser, California Avocado Commission
  • Natasha DiPretoro, True Organic Products
  • Sue Foerster, California Dept. of Public Health
  • Phil Henry, Henry Avocado Corporation
  • Cindy Jewell, California Giant Berry Farms
  • Lorri Koster, Mann Packing Company
  • David Krause, Paramount Citrus
  • Wes Liefer, Pura Vida Farms
  • Carissa Mace, Fresh Produce and Floral Council
  • Angela Nardone, N2N Global
  • Sheri Normandin, MCL Fresh, Inc.
  • Gina Nucci, Mann Packing Company
  • Marty Ordman, Dole Food Company
  • Gordon Robertson, Sun World International
  • Roger Schroeder, Stater Brothers
  • Bob Spence, Ready Pac
  • Abby Taylor-Silva, Grower-Shipper Association/GSA Foundation
  • Al Vangelos, Novelle Consulting
  • Josh Waters, Safeway
  • Fred Williamson, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce
  • Mary Wright-Rana, Pro*Act LLC

“This is truly a win-win for all involved,” Spezzano said in the release. “Childhood obesity has become a serious problem in the United States and by providing salad bars to schools, students will develop healthy eating habits and influence their parents to purchase more fresh produce at the grocery store.”

Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools supports Team California for Healthy Kids, a program designed to increase access to fresh foods and salad bars.

Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools is a program of the United Fresh Foundation, a founding partner of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, a national initiative that has donated more than 1,600 salad bars nationwide.

More information about the campaign is available online at saladbars2schools.org.