K-12 School Foodservice Resources
Welcome to the United Fresh K-12 School Foodservice Resource Page!
Every day, more than 30 million children participate in the National School Lunch Program, with over 5 billion lunches served annually. Combine this with the total number of students who also receive school breakfast, snacks and suppers, all of which must include fruits and vegetables, and it’s evident that K-12 school foodservice operators play an important role in influencing students’ knowledge, acceptance, and consumption of fresh produce.
United Fresh Produce Association collaborates with the produce industry, government agencies, school nutrition leaders, and allied stakeholders, to ensure children have access to a variety of produce choices at school each day. We are committed to supporting schools with tools, resources and knowledge about fresh fruits and vegetables, while creating opportunities for the produce industry to better understand the unique needs of this important customer.
Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources for the K-12 School Foodservice Community
In these unprecedented times, we’ve created an aggregate of coronavirus/COVID-19 resources to help the fresh produce industry and supply chain partners address commonly asked questions, and resources that can help keep you and your business informed.
K-12 School Foodservice Membership
Through membership, K-12 school foodservice directors and their staff will have access to a wide range of member benefits, including resources to help source, serve and promote fresh fruits and vegetables in meal and snack programs, as well as opportunities to collaborate with produce industry partners.
Education & Networking Events
Throughout the year, United Fresh organizes opportunities to connect the produce industry with K-12 school nutrition leaders. These events provide an opportunity for the produce industry to better understand the unique needs and challenges of these foodservice operators, while providing a forum for discussions on industry practices and understanding each other’s everyday business priorities.
Child Nutrition Policy
Only one in 10 Americans meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption. Federal nutrition programs – which have broad reach across every state and community – play a pivotal role in helping Americans achieve the goal of making half their plate fruits and vegetables.
United Fresh is the voice of the fresh produce industry in shaping nutrition policy in Washington, DC. Whether its school meals, WIC, the SNAP program or the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, United Fresh is at the forefront of making half the plate fruits and vegetables.
Foodservice Trends and Marketing
United Fresh makes available tools and services that enable foodservice operators to enhance the value and sales of fresh produce in their business channels.
- Fresh Insights for Foodservice, Quarterly Reports
- Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program
This program recognizes chefs and foodservice operators in nine categories, including K-12 School Foodservice, for creativity in menu planning using fresh produce.
- Twisted Citrus Glazed Carrots & Dynamite Chili Lime Beets: Designing Craveable, Flavor-focused Labels for Plant-forward Dishes Using the Edgy Veggies Toolkit
- Connecting with Gen Next Away from Home
This presentation was delivered at the 2020 FreshStart Conference, and covers how restaurants and schools are designing menus to appeal to children and families.
School Salad Bars
The United Fresh Start Foundation works with the produce industry and allied stakeholders to provide salad bar equipment to schools, supporting their ability to meet nutrition standards that require offering a variety of fruits and vegetables, and empowering students to make their own healthy, fresh choices.
- About the Salad Bars to Schools program
- Why Salad Bars?
- Salad Bars to Schools, The Mix – News, Tips and Stories
- How to Successfully Implement Salad Bars in Your School Cafeteria
- Promoting and Supporting School Salad Bars: An Action Guide for State Health Practitioners
- Living on the Vedge: Raising the (Salad) Bar
- San Diego Unified School District: Keeping it Fresh, Salad Bar Manual
- Estimating Quantities from School Salad Bars, Idaho Dept of Child Nutrition
- Salad Bar Etiquette Poster, USDA
- Tricks of the Trade, Preparing Fruits and Vegetables, USDA
- The Farmers’ Market Salad Bar Program, Riverside Unified School District
Community Innovation Grants
The United Fresh Start Foundation makes available grants to innovative, community-based organizations that are increasing children’s access, selection and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, outside the school day.
Understanding K-12 School Opportunities
United Fresh is committed to creating opportunities for the produce industry to better understand the unique needs of school foodservice customers. These resources will be of interest for produce companies currently serving schools, as well as produce companies exploring the K-12 market.
- Selling to Schools: Connect with the School Foodservice Director
- Selling to Schools: Understanding the Fruit and Vegetable Requirements and How Schools Can Source Produce
K-12 Peer Resource Presentations: Sharing Best Practices
United Fresh values our relationships and opportunities for collaboration with K-12 school nutrition leaders who are committed to advancing industry and peer understanding of how to successfully incorporate a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables into school meal and snack programs. These resources will be of interest to school foodservice professionals looking to increase or enhance fresh produce in their menus
- Minneapolis Public Schools: Fresh Fruit and Vegetables in School Meals During COVID-19
- Portland Public Schools: Fresh Fruit and Vegetables in School Meals During COVID-19
- Produce in a Pandemic: Providing Children with Fresh Fruit and Vegetables During COVID-19
- How Schools Feature and Market Fresh Produce to Students and Families
- Austin ISD: Prioritizing Produce in School Nutrition Programs
- Dallas ISD: Prioritizing Produce in School Nutrition Programs
- Cincinnati Public Schools: Prioritizing Produce in School Nutrition Programs
- Laredo ISD: Prioritizing Produce in School Nutrition Programs
- Londonderry School District: Prioritizing Produce in School Nutrition Programs
- Your Produce RFP: Achieving Variety, Quality and Collaborative Partnership
- Putting Produce in its Proper Place: Making Half a Plate a Reality Every day!