view current print edition




Cincinnati public schools welcome salad bars

by | May 12, 2010
In a bipartisan show of support for the United Fresh Foundation's A Salad Bar in Every School campaign, U.S. Reps. Steve Driehaus (D-OH) and Jean Schmidt (R-OH) were scheduled to cheer the dedication of a new salad bar May 10 at Cincinnati's Academy of World Languages.

They were to be joined by Chiquita Brands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Fernando Aguirre, Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan and United Fresh Produce Association President and CEO Tom Stenzel.

In addition to the new salad bar at the Academy of World Languages, salad bars have also been added at Cincinnati's Carson Elementary, Pleasant Ridge Montessori and John P. Parker Elementary schools. Three of the salad bars were provided by the United Fresh Foundation's A Salad Bar in Every School campaign, thanks to a donation by Chiquita Brands. Cincinnati Public Schools purchased the fourth salad bar.

"This program is a tremendous opportunity for kids to make healthy choices in their daily diet," Rep. Schmidt said in a May 10 press release. "The United Fresh Foundation's A Salad Bar in Every School campaign is a great first step to fight obesity and start our children on the path to a healthy diet and a healthy life."

"Access to healthy fruits and vegetables is a key component in helping kids lead healthy, active lifestyles," Rep. Driehaus added in the release. "I'm proud to be a co-sponsor of the Children's Fruit & Vegetable Act, which will help put in place the tools needed to make this a reality for more kids in Cincinnati Public Schools and across the nation."

Launched in February 2010 by the United Fresh Foundation, the Salad Bar in Every School campaign is a multi-year public-health commitment from the fresh produce industry designed to bring fruit and vegetable salad bars to schools across America. In addition, the enhanced spotlight provided by first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign provides a unique and timely opportunity to promote school salad bars throughout the country and for Congress to pass the Children's Fruit & Vegetable Act of 2009.

"Promoting better childhood nutrition and wellness in our hometown schools is a great way to give back to our community," Mr. Aguirre said in the release. "Improved access to fruits and vegetables with school salad bars is a winning proposition for our kids and schools. We are proud to be part of this bipartisan effort and are committed to expanding this initiative."

"I love the idea of a salad bar in every school, and I want to thank Chiquita and United Fresh for helping to make that a reality," Ms. Ronan added in the release. "By encouraging our students to make salads for lunch with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, we'll be teaching healthy eating habits that will keep students alert in classes and serve them well all their lives."

"Research shows that children significantly increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables when their school has a fruit and vegetable salad bar," United Fresh Vice President of Nutrition & Health Lorelei DiSogra said in the release. "Salad bars provide children with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to try, and this increased access helps them develop personal experiences that can shape their behavior far beyond the school lunch line. The goal is for children to develop a lifetime of healthy eating habits."

"It is important for students to have increased access to fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables," Mr. Stenzel said in the release. "United Fresh has a long track record of success increasing the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables for children. Alongside the $1 billion federal commitment to national expansion of the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable School Snack Program and the launch of more than $750 million annually in fruit and vegetable vouchers for moms and children in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children, the Salad Bar in Every School campaign truly has the produce industry poised to make a difference."