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United donates salad bars to Washington charter schools

by | October 10, 2010
WASHINGTON — Through the United Fresh Foundation's A Salad Bar in Every School campaign, two additional schools in the District of Columbia — Friendship Public Charter School and the Imagine Southeast Public Charter School — have recently received new salad bars.

Officials from both charter schools received their salad bars at a ceremony at the Fresh Festival on Capitol Hill during the United Fresh Produce Association’s Washington Public Policy Conference last month.

"Both the Friendship Public Charter School and the Imagine Southeast Charter School have wanted salad bars for a long time and are committed to improving their student’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables at lunch," Lorelei DiSogra, vice president for nutrition and health at United Fresh, said in an Oct. 6 press release. “We thank the Cambro Manufacturing Company and the Vollrath Company, two of the nation’s largest manufacturers of salad bars, for their generous donation of this equipment to District of Columbia schools.”

With this donation, seven District of Columbia schools now have new salad bars and 50 schools have salad bars nationwide through the program. “More than 25,000 low-income elementary school students are benefiting from these first 50 salad bars,” Ms. DiSogra added in the press release. “These students have greater access to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day at lunch. School salad bars are an evidence-based strategy to increase children’s consumption of healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables. The salad bars donated through the A Salad Bar in Every School campaign are helping schools in the District of Columbia and nationally to improve the school food environment and the health of schoolchildren. There are many schools that want salad bars, and we look forward to donating many more during this school year.”

Launched in February, the United Fresh Foundation’s A Salad Bar in Every School campaign is a philanthropic produce industry initiative to donate salad bars to schools to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption. The campaign has pledged to donate 1,000 salad bars to schools over the next three years as part of United’s support for first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.

Salad bars donated through the campaign are currently benefiting more than 25,000 students in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina and Ohio.

“Research shows that children significantly increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables when their school has a fruit and vegetable salad bar,” Ms. DiSogra added in the press 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. Our goal is for children to develop a lifetime of healthy eating habits.”