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More than 100 produce industry leaders, retail partners, businesses and foundations have come together to make a landmark donation of salad bars to 436 California schools.
The donation to Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools will benefit 300,000 California students who will now have access to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day at lunch. United Fresh made the announcement at the Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools Celebration press conference in San Diego, which brought together government, education and child nutrition officials, school food service directors from throughout California, students from San Diego area schools, and more than 100 produce industry and foundation donors. The celebration was held on the opening day of the United Fresh 2013 annual produce convention at the San Diego Convention Center.
The goal of United’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools campaign is to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption and improve their health by donating salad bars to schools throughout California. Over the past year, this campaign has collaborated with TEAM California for Healthy Kids and the California Department of Education to meet that shared goal.
State superintendent of public instruction Tom Torlakson, who spearheads TEAM California for Healthy Kids, gave keynote remarks at the event, noting that salad bars are an integral piece to supporting increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
“When our students aren’t healthy, they are less likely to be in class and learning,” Torlakson said. “With Team California for Healthy Kids, we are working to ensure our kids have access to nutritious food, clean water and physical exercise – so that the right choices are easy choices. That’s why I applaud the effort to make fresh fruits and vegetables available right in the lunchroom.”
United Fresh CEO Tom Stenzel added, “This remarkable donation of salad bars to 436 California schools truly demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships to improve child nutrition. Produce industry leaders, businesses and foundations all came together to support increasing children’s fresh fruit and vegetable consumption.
“This donation was made possible by the generosity of more than 100 produce industry leaders, retail partners, businesses and foundations,” said Stenzel. “And a special thank you to the four California campaign co-chairs Karen Caplan, president and CEO, Frieda’s Inc.; Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin, VP of community development, Taylor Farms; Lisa McNeece, VP of foodservice and industrial sales; and Dick Spezzano, president, Spezzano Consulting; who rallied support and built momentum for this effort.”