NEW ORLEANS -- A press conference announcing the donation of salad bars to 33 schools in New Orleans kicked off the opening of the United Fresh exposition, here.
The press conference, held in the media center on the trade show floor, featured speakers from the city's government and school system, as well as from United Fresh, which has taken the lead for the industry through the United Fresh Foundation's Let's Move Salad Bars to School initiative and is a supporter of first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation.
"We are elated to have been selected to be a recipient of salad bars donated by the Let's Move Salad Bars to New Orleans Schools program," Rosie Jackson, New Orleans Public Schools’ director of foodservice, said in a May 4 press release.
"As a result of the donations, our students will now receive more fresh produce as well as have an opportunity to make healthier choices in their food selections. This initiative will truly enhance our overall program for our students, and show our commitment to the first lady's Let's Move! initiative."
"The salad bars donated this week come from produce industry members all across the United States, and are another fantastic example of our members' commitment to providing healthier options for kids and increasing access to fresh fruit and vegetables not only in their home communities but also for the thousands of school kids in our host city of New Orleans," Tom Stenzel, United’s president and chief executive officer, said in the release.
The salad bar donations are made possible through the sponsorship of the following companies: The Andrew Smith Co., Apio Inc., Bonipak Produce, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, CAMBRO, Capitol City Produce, Chiquita Brands, Ciruli Bros., Del Monte Fresh Produce, Dennis and Susi Gertmenian, DMA Solutions, Dole Food Co., DuPont Crop Protection, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Horton Fruit Co., Mann Packing Co., Marie's, McEntire Produce, Muir Copper Canyon Farms, the National Watermelon Association, Pero Family Farms, Stemilt Growers, Taylor Farms, the Produce Exchange, the Tom Lange Co. and True Organic Products.
The Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative has a goal of donating salad bars to 6,000 schools nationwide within the next three years. United Fresh has pioneered the nationwide adoption of school fruit and vegetable salad bars as a proven strategy for significantly increasing children's produce consumption.