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United Fresh Start Foundation donates salad bars to Indiana schools

To promote overall good nutrition and help limit the absorption of lead by children in East Chicago, the United Fresh Start Foundation is donating salad bars to all schools in the School City of East Chicago district. More than 4,600 students in the East Chicago, IN, community will soon have access to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day at lunch.

“Good nutrition plays a pivotal role in helping to limit the body’s absorption of lead. Increasing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those that are sources of calcium, vitamin C and iron, is critically important for children exposed to lead,” Lorelei DiSogra, vice president of nutrition and health at the United Fresh Produce Association, said in a press release. “The salad bars donated to School City of East Chicago will make it easy for the school district to offer students a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day at school lunch.”

The United Fresh Start Foundation, a founding partner of the national Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, became aware of the lead contamination issues in East Chicago from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food & Nutrition Service Midwest Regional office. This action represents one small part of an overall response by USDA, federal, state and local partners to address the lead contamination in East Chicago. The foundation had previously donated salad bars to 22 schools in Flint, MI.    

“We really appreciate the generous contributions of the United Fresh Start Foundation to the East Chicago schools. These new salad bars will assist East Chicago Schools to offer fresh and appealing choices that will help students get more of the important nutrients their bodies need,” Tim English, Midwest Regional administrator for USDA’s Food & Nutrition Service, added in the press release.

The United Fresh Start Foundation and Chicago-area produce companies, JAB Produce, Strube Celery & Vegetable Co. and the Tom Lange Co., donated the funds to provide the salad bars to the seven East Chicago schools.

The United Fresh Start Foundation is a founding partner of the national Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which to date has donated salad bars to over 4,800 schools in all fifty states. The foundation works with the produce industry, healthcare organizations, non-profits and allied businesses to support salad bars for schools as a way to increase children’s access and consumption of fresh fruits and veggies every day at school.