Produce Marketing Association (PMA), as a member of the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance (NFVA), has committed $100,000 in support of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools and the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative, which focuses on giving school children better access to healthy foods. In addition to this contribution, which is part of PMA’s continuous commitment to increase consumption of fresh produce, the association will be seeking to raise added donations by calling upon its members to match its support.
“PMA’s commitment sets a standard of giving and investing in the produce industry’s future,” says Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission and chairman of PMA’s board of directors. “The produce industry has shown it wants to invest in creating life-long consumers. The PMA leadership sees this financial commitment as a great opportunity to be a strong catalyst and leverage the power of our membership community to improve the lives and healthful eating habits of school children for generations to come. We’re also thrilled to add to the work of United Fresh Produce Association, which started with Salad Bars to Schools, and deserves accolades as its work has now been elevated to this national program – Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.”
The donation was announced during PMA’s Board of Directors meeting this week in Austin, Texas. In addition to seeking matching funds from the PMA board and other leadership groups, the association also is developing plans to engage its membership at large in funding more salad bars in schools. The PMA funds will be distributed to targeted schools across the country through 2013. More details on how members can participate to match the PMA funds will be communicated once details have been worked out.
“Last year, we supported Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools by donating a salad bar locally in Newark, Del,” says Bryan Silbermann, PMA president and CEO. “The board’s recent approval will take our support of this initiative to the next level, and clearly places a strategic focus on using PMA’s financial resources and those of our many members to get more fresh produce into schools. United Fresh president Tom Stenzel and I have already held initial discussions and his team is ready to assist us in making the best use of the funds to get kids more salads at schools.”