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Parents and school foodservice specialists are on the front lines in the charge to improve child nutrition, and Pear Bureau Northwest is doing its part to support their good work. A new partnership with Schoolmenu.com provides the Pear Bureau with a unique opportunity to educate families and school foodservice operators about healthy, fresh pears and their unique appeal to school-age kids. Launched in August, Schoolmenu.com collaborates with school districts across the country to feature news and information on elementary, middle and high school nutrition programs. Through this innovative resource, school foodservice operators nationwide have the ability to post their district's daily breakfast, lunch, and snack menus, complete with nutritional information.

Parents can then visit Schoolmenu.com to view the school’s offerings, and can be better informed and involved in what their children eat while in school. In addition, the web site features information from leading experts in the nutrition, fitness and health fields, as well as articles from top doctors on a variety of topics. "Schoolmenu.com is a valuable hub of information for school foodservice operators and parents," Kevin Moffitt, president and chief executive officer of Pear Bureau Northwest, said in a Feb. 3 press release. “We are pleased to work with Schoolmenu.com to raise awareness about the versatility of fresh pears in school cafeteria programs and to join in the effort to encourage students to make healthy choices in cafeterias across the U.S.” Parents and school foodservice staff can find pear snack ideas, ripening tips and information about the varieties of pears in addition to school menus and other nutrition information.

Schoolmenu.com currently hosts menus from more than 130 school districts from Alaska to Florida, and districts across the nation are adding menus weekly. Since partnering with Schoolmenu.com, the Pear Bureau Northwest has seen a boost in traffic to its consumer website, www.usapears.org. Schoolmenu.com has driven more visitors to the Pear Bureau web site than either Wikipedia or Google, and all of those visitors lie directly within the Pear Bureau’s target audience.

In light of the First Lady’s popular Let’s Move initiative and recommendations in the new USDA Dietary Guidelines to fill “half your plate” with fruits and vegetables, Pear Bureau Northwest is proud to support Schoolmenu.com alongside the Produce for Better Health Foundation to reinforce the importance of fresh produce in children’s diets.

“As school nutrition programs across the country seek to serve more fruits and vegetables, we are excited to welcome the Pear Bureau as they support our mission to improve the health and wellness of America's families as well as to educate parents about the many benefits of school meal programs,” Frank Kohler of SchoolMenu.com added in the press release.