Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont, in partnership with the United Fresh Start Foundation, today unveiled its first of four salad bar donations to select Buffalo Public Schools. A ribbon cutting event for the salad bar’s presentation was held at Buffalo Public School #81 where local community leaders and members joined in on the celebration. The salad bars were introduced to four Buffalo schools’ cafeterias as an effort to provide local students with access to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables—a necessary component for a healthy lifestyle.
The salad bars were arranged through a partnership with the United Fresh Start Foundation, a founding partner of the national Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which aims to increase children’s produce consumption by donating salad bars to schools throughout the United States.
The schools receiving salad bars include:
- Dr. Antonia Pantoja School of Academic Excellence
750 West Ave., Buffalo, NY 14213
- Bilingual Center
157 Elk St., Buffalo, NY 14210
- #81 School
140 Tacoma Ave., Buffalo, NY 14216
- West Hertel Academy
489 Hertel Ave., Buffalo, NY 14207
“It is critical that children are receiving fresh fruits and vegetables each and every day,” said Jeff Cady, Tops’ Director of Produce and Floral. “March is National Nutrition Month and is the perfect time to focus on our youth’s healthy eating habits. These salad bars will help these students get the fresh produce they need for optimal growth and development.”
New USDA nutrition standards for school lunch require schools to dramatically increase the amount and variety of fruits and vegetable served to students each day, and salad bars are the easiest way for schools to meet these requirements. Research and experience in schools across the country demonstrate that children significantly increase their fruit and vegetable consumption when given a variety of choices in a school salad bar. When offered multiple fruit and vegetable choices, children respond by incorporating greater variety and increasing their overall consumption.
“We are pleased to partner with Tops Friendly Markets to support salad bars for schools in Buffalo, NY, and to help further the relationships between supermarkets and local schools,” said Tom Stenzel, President and CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association. “Salad bars empower students to make healthy choices, get kids excited to eat fresh produce at school and beyond, and can help facilitate conversations in the community about the importance of eating more fresh fruits and veggies for better health.”
The Buffalo Public Schools has a leading school foodservice program, including more than forty schools with the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable “School Snack” Program and Farm to School activities that promote fresh fruits and vegetables in school meals every day. Salad bars combined with these other programs, will ensure students have multiple opportunities during the school day to access fresh fruits and veggies.