WASHINGTON, DC (June 4, 2020) – The United Fresh Start Foundation’s annual School Foodservice Forum will be held during United Fresh LIVE! taking place online the week of June 15, 2020. The virtual forum will feature workshops and education sessions focused on school foodservice, as well as feature kid-friendly products offered by United Fresh LIVE! exhibitors.
School nutrition professionals are invited to participate to learn about the produce industry, explore new fruit and vegetable products and engage in education sessions that address sourcing, serving and promoting fresh produce to children and their families. Participating produce industry leaders will gain a better understanding of K-12 school foodservice opportunities and what schools will need from supplier partners, given the new realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m proud that the School Foodservice Forum has become an integral component of the foundation’s programming,” said Lisa McNeece, Vice President of Foodservice and Industrial Sales, Grimmway Farms and Chair of the United Fresh Start Foundation. “If we are going to grow produce consumption, we need to ensure children can access fresh produce where they spend most of their day, and this means connecting with school administrators who are deciding what’s on the menu.”
The School Foodservice Forum schedule is as follows:
Monday, June 15 from 4:00-5:00 pm (EDT)
School Meals 101 Meets COVID-19: Opportunities for Fresh Produce in K-12 School Nutrition Programs
Tuesday, June 16 from 11:00 am-Noon (EDT)
Selling to Schools: Understanding Fruit and Vegetable Requirements in K-12 Foodservice
Wednesday, June 17 from 11:00 am-Noon (EDT)
Continuing a Culinary Focus: Prioritizing Fruits and Veggies Before, During and After COVID-19
Thursday, June 18 from 11:00 am-Noon (EDT)
School Meals During COVID-19: Creative Approaches to Ensuring Students Get Their Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Friday, June 19 from 11:00 am-Noon (EDT)
The Future of Fresh Produce in Schools: A State Agency Perspective
“We’re looking forward to connecting with school nutrition leaders at United Fresh LIVE!, sharing information about our citrus varieties, the health benefits of our fruit, and seasonal availability, as well as learning how we can better connect with this audience that serves next generation produce consumers,” said Christina Ward, Director of Global Brand Marketing for Sunkist Growers.
“Healthy snacking is an important part of our business, and we are committed to finding creative ways to introduce celery and other vegetables to kids,” said Nichole Towell, Senior Director of Marketing for Duda Farm Fresh Foods. “Schools are a unique customer, and as we continue to innovate our retail offerings and talk with schools about their needs, we’re learning more about how to successfully get our products in front of next generation consumers.”
“The opportunity to connect with leaders in the produce industry, see new products, pack sizes and what’s trending with fresh fruits and vegetables in commercial channels is a unique experience and not something we typically experience at school nutrition events,” said Jessica Shelly, Food Service Director at the Cincinnati Public Schools. “By providing these interactions, I can consider how to incorporate a greater variety of fresh produce into my district’s meal and snack programs, while sharing the needs of K-12 operators with the produce industry.”
Title sponsors of the School Foodservice Forum include: Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Grimmway Farms, and Sunkist Growers. Additional sponsors include: Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A. Inc., DNO Produce, Mastronardi Produce and Peterson Farms Fresh.
Registration is FREE for United Fresh LIVE! and participation in the School Foodservice Forum is available to all registered attendees. United Fresh LIVE! includes a packed schedule of general sessions, workshops, roundtable discussions, social events and a major online expo that’s scheduled throughout the week of June 15-19. Register at www.unitedfreshlive.org to be part of the action.
For additional information about the School Foodservice Forum, contact Andrew Marshall, Director of Foodservice & Foundation Partnerships, (202) 303-3407.