Delano High School Receives New Salad Bar, Thanks to California Women for Agriculture
Donation is Providing 1,600 Students Increased with Increased Access to Fresh Produce
Delano, California (February 27, 2017) – Today, members of the Kern County Chapter of California Women for Agriculture visited Delano High School to observe students using their new salad bar; a donation made possible by the group, as a way to provide students with increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables and encourage healthy choices.
“The new salad bar is a fabulous addition to our lunch program,” said Andrea Popoy, Director of Nutritional Services for the Delano Joint Union High School District. “With the salad bar, we can provide our students with a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. They like making their own choices and we’re seeing our students take more produce, now that it’s displayed in a visually appealing way.”
“California Women for Agriculture’s Kern County Chapter is pleased to support salad bars for one of our local schools. As one of the most agriculturally abundant counties in California, albeit the country, we are committed to making sure children in our community have access to healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables every day,” said Nicole Veteto Palmer, Community Outreach Chair for the California Women for Agriculture-Kern Chapter. “Being able to observe students using the salad bar, seeing them make healthy choices, and also getting to meet with school administrators, helps us to connect the local agriculture industry with our local schools. We enjoy being able to make a difference in our local community,” she added.
Last year, California Women for Agriculture also donated a salad bar to a school in Kern County, Stine Elementary School in the Panama Buena Vista Union School District in Bakersfield.
Both salad bar donations were arranged through a partnership with the United Fresh Start Foundation. The United Fresh Start Foundation works with the produce industry, foundations and allied businesses to support salad bars for schools nationwide, promoting salad bars as the most effective strategy for increasing children’s produce consumption at school. To date, the Foundation has helped support salad bars for 5,000 schools, boosting access to fresh produce for 3 million children.
According to Andrew Marshall, Director of Foundation Programs and Partnerships for the United Fresh Start Foundation, “It’s been a pleasure working with the California Women for Agriculture – Kern County Chapter. It’s clear they have a passion for ensuring children in their community have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and by providing schools with salad bars, they are helping create a school food environment that encourages healthy choices. Kids like fresh fruits and vegetables, and when given access to visually appealing, great tasting fresh produce, they will choose fresh fruits and veggies any day.”
Current USDA nutrition standards for school lunch require schools to serve a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables each week, and salad bars provide an easy way for schools to serve these options. Research and experience in schools across the country demonstrates 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.
Nationwide, salad bars are changing school food environments and helping students make the healthy choice, the easy choice.
The Delano Joint Unified School District is also scheduled to receive two additional salad bars later this year, thanks to the Whole Kids Foundation.
About California Women for Agriculture – Kern County
California Women for Agriculture (CWA), Kern County Chapter, is an organization of women in Kern County, who work in agriculture. Members can include bankers, lawyers, accountants, marketing professionals, consumers, farmers and ranchers, amongst other positions. CWA organizes programming to develop interest and promote California agriculture, assists with involving women to speak on behalf of agriculture, keeps members informed on legislative activities pertaining to agriculture, organizes members to join forces to address agricultural problems in specific communities, organizes programming to improve the public image of farmers and assists with developing relationships between agricultural communities. With 20 chapters and 1,600-plus members across the state, California Women for Agriculture (CWA) is the most active, all volunteer agricultural organization in California.