Growing Up Fresh

The United Fresh Start Foundation is focused on one core mission — to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Salad Bars to Schools

The United Fresh Start Foundation works to ensure all schools can provide students with easily accessible, high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables during breakfast, lunch, snacks, and school-based events every day.

Spotlight Initiative: Salad Bars to Schools

The United Fresh Start Foundation has helped facilitate the donation of salad bars to over 5,000 schools in all 50 states, benefiting three million children.

The salad bar program provides schools with a salad bar through which to serve fresh fruits and vegetables. Salad bars are a visually appealing way to highlight fresh produce choices to students. Salad bars also support schools in meeting school lunch nutrition standards that require offering a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables each week.

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS

In 2020, the United Fresh Start Foundation celebrates 10 years of bringing salad bars to schools! Check out highlights from our program that’s growing our industry in a way that does good!

The Salad Bars to Schools initiative is about empowering students to make their own healthy choices. It’s about giving children the autonomy to select from a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables options and trusting that they will find produce they like and then actually eat it, because as many students have gleefully put it, “It’s mine. I made it.” This sense of pride has helped make fresh produce the “want-to” choice for the 3-million schoolchildren who have benefited from this program.

With salad bars, students enjoy selecting their own fruits and vegetables. Salad bars have helped elevate the image and freshness of school meals, and in a time when so many are concerned about food waste, salad bars have helped keep this under control by encouraging students to, “take what they want, and eat what they take.”

The Salad Bars to Schools initiative a win-win-win; for schoolchildren, public health and the produce industry.

Tour De Fresh

Tour de Fresh, presented by The California Giant Foundation, is the first-of-its-kind, collaborative event that unites the most significant brands and influencers in the fresh produce industry for a four-day cycling event that raises funds to benefit the national Salad Bars to Schools initiative.

The Approach

Salad bars are an effective strategy for increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables at school. Further:

  • School salad bars are an effective school-based strategy to increase students’ fruit and vegetable consumption.
  • School salad bars increase the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables consumed by children in schools.
  • Salad bars empower students to try new fruits and vegetables and choose which ones to eat.
  • Salad bars help schools meet school lunch nutrition standards that require a variety of fruit and vegetables choices throughout the week.
  • Salad bars demonstrate a school’s commitment to wellness and healthy school meals. They show parents, teachers, and the community that the school values a healthy environment that encourages children to eat more fruits and vegetables.

The History

In 2009, the United Fresh Start Foundation established A Salad Bar in Every School, a produce industry-led campaign that pioneered the use of salad bars to increase children’s access to fresh produce at school.

After the establishment of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, a national movement to eradicate childhood obesity within a generation, the United Fresh Start Foundation presented leaders at the White House and USDA with the idea of a national salad bar campaign. The Foundation explained that the campaign would support Let’s Move! and would help schools serve a greater amount and variety of fruits and vegetables.

In November 2010, the United Fresh Start Foundation established Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools with the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, Chef Ann Foundation and the Whole Kids Foundation. Through the program, K-12 school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program could request and receive salad bars.

Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools remained a part of Let’s Move! until the end of the Obama Administration. The program now operates as Salad Bars to Schools.

With its Salad Bars to Schools partners, the United Fresh Start Foundation has provided over 5,000 salad bars to schools, benefitting 3 million children in all fifty states. The United Fresh Start Foundation continues to work with the fresh produce industry, healthcare organizations, non-profits, and allied businesses to support salad bars for schools.

To Apply

For information about how your school can apply for a salad bar, visit our Salad Bars to Schools program website.

For information and how you can support the Foundation’s salad bar program, contact Andrew Marshall, Director, Foundation Programs and Partnerships, at 202.303.3407.