Q&A | Elizabeth Pivonka, Produce for Better Health Foundation - The Packer

Q&A | Elizabeth Pivonka, Produce for Better Health Foundation

01/27/2012 09:13:00 AM
Tom Karst

3:32 p.m. Karst: Is there anything that PBH can do for schools as they increase the amount of fruits and vegetables they serve at school meals? Does PBH try to get involved with school foodservice staff at all?

3:33 p.m. Pivonka: As a matter of fact, we had a request to develop promotional materials for schools that have salad bars so we added that to our group of education materials in our catalogue that was released this year. We have a lot of materials (schools) could use in the lunchroom to support fruits and vegetables. Then on our consumer More Matters website (www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org) we do have a list of all the schools that have salad bars. 

We have a link to all the schools participating in the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and we even have a link to schools with healthy vending machines, as well. You can go to our consumer site, type in a ZIP code and see which of your local schools have these programs. If the industry is interested in reaching out to all of the schools involved with the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, they can find all of those address on our website. If the industry is interested in (sending) marketing material to the schools, education materials to the schools, they can grab all of those addresses (from) our website.

3:34 p.m. Karst: Any other thoughts on how the industry can engage on this issue?

3:35 p.m. Pivonka: We continue to encourage the industry to adopt local schools. We hear a lot of schools like our materials, they just can’t afford to purchase them and we can’t afford to give them away. 

The nice thing about our website is that they can see which of the schools are the poorest schools, but those are usually the ones that are part of the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Those are the schools most in need of nutrition education materials. The industry can go to our website and find the schools in their local area and adopt the schools and send them education materials. 

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