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Chiquita Brands and its Fresh Express subsidiary are to be commended for being among the first produce companies to throw their support behind the United Fresh Produce Association Foundation’s “A Salad Bar in Every School” campaign with a multiyear financial and public health commitment.
United deserves kudos, too, for the innovative salad bar campaign in support of the Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Act of 2009 (H.R. 4333), which calls for a national salad bar policy for schools, as well as better access to fruits and vegetables, which will be required to meet the act’s dietary guidelines.
United’s launch of the “Salad Bar in Every School” initiative comes in conjunction with the Obama administration’s bipartisan initiative against childhood obesity, “Let’s Move,” spearheaded by first lady Michelle Obama, which provides a unique and timely opportunity to promote school salad bars, and for Congress to pass the Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Act of 2009.
The United Fresh Foundation’s “A Salad Bar in Every School” campaign is based on the personal involvement and charitable commitment of produce growers, distributors, and marketers in raising private funds to donate salad bars to schools in cities and counties across the country to serve as demonstration models for increasing children’s fresh fruit and vegetable consumption.
The campaign can provide an opportunity for food retailers, too, to demonstrate their commitment to both their communities and a generation of schoolchildren by sponsoring and supplying school salad bars.
While Ray Gilmer, United’s VP of communications, confirmed with me that the campaign is still in its early stages, he agrees that it would be an opportunity for retailers, and that United would welcome their participation. We both agreed that participating retailers would be doing a good community deed and also benefiting by the positive public relations of salad bar sponsorship.
The one caveat Gilmer expressed was that interested retailers should go through the United Fresh Produce Association Foundation rather than approaching schools independently, and to this end, Gilmer can be contacted at [email protected] or at 202-303-3400.
It’s a good bandwagon to jump on for all concerned.