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    Martin's Supermarkets Teams Up for School Salad Bars

    Indiana grocer works with Dole, Caito to freshen lunches at 5 schools

    Committed to increasing healthier options for students, Midwestern grocery retailer Martin's Supermarkets has partnered with Dole Food Co. and grocery retailer and wholesale foods supplier Caito Foods to donate salad bars to five public schools in Indiana.

    These self-serve produce bars will feature an array of fresh fruits and vegetables to boost new choices for students at breakfast and lunch. “Martin’s is known as a Midwest leader in high-quality fresh produce, so it’s only fitting that we help make today’s salad bars possible,” said Ed Osowski, Martin’s Supermarkets director of produce and floral. “Helping students and their parents discover the joys of new recipes featuring fresh fruits and vegetables aligns perfectly with the Martin’s mission.”

    Representatives from Martin's, DoleCaito and the United Fresh Foundation presented West Side Middle School in Elkhart, Ind., this week with a new salad bar at a dedication ceremony. 

    Healthier Lifetime Habits

    “Since one in three Midwest children, ages 9 to 11, is at risk or already overweight, we need to look at whole new ways to encourage healthier eating,” said Bil Goldfield, Dole’s director of corporate communications. “One of Dole’s goals is to start the nutrition conversation, and offer tangible healthy alternatives, as early in childhood as possible. By offering permanent salad bars stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables, we are hopefully establishing healthier eating habits that will last a lifetime.”

    Bob Kirch, president of Indianapolis-based Caito, added: “We’re proud to be able to play a role in keeping these salad bars stocked with fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables, and to start impacting behaviors that could ultimately change lives.”

    The salad bars were arranged through a partnership with the United Fresh Foundation to support the organization’s Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which is committed to increasing children’s produce consumption by working with the produce industry, foundations and allied businesses to support salad bars for schools nationwide. In January 2014, the Foundation announced a special Midwest focus to their campaign, aligning the initiative with their annual produce industry convention in Chicago. Let’s Move Salad Bars to Midwest Schools, a special campaign under the umbrella of the national effort, is focused on supporting salad bars for schools in six Midwest states: Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

    “We are pleased to partner with Martin’s Supermarkets, Caito Foods and Dole to provide salad bars to schools in this area of the country, ensuring students here will have access to more fresh produce, and healthier options at lunch,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association. “Salad bars are a visual representation of healthy school meals, they are popular with students who enjoy making their own healthy choices, and salad bars are often a conversation starter amongst students, school administrators and parents about the importance of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables each day.”

    Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools has facilitated the donation of salad bars to more than 3,500 schools, benefitting nearly 2 million students every day. 

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