Thousands of students in 27 schools in four states will have more opportunities to eat fresh fruits and vegetables each day when they return to school this fall, where they will find brand new salad bars in their school cafeterias.
The salad bars are being donated by Produce Marketing Association (PMA) as part of PMA’s support for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign and the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative.
The 27 salad bars, valued at more than $70,000, are the latest part of the commitment announced by PMA earlier this year as an integral part of the association’s strategy to reinvest in its members’ future by building children’s consumption of fresh produce. The bars will be located at the following school districts:
- California: 2 salad bars to Kings Canyon school district
- Georgia: 7 salad bars to Gwinnett County public schools, 3 to Bremen City schools, 3 to Stevens County schools
- Louisiana: 10 salad bars to St. Tammany Parish schools (includes New Orleans)
- Texas: 2 salad bars have been offered to the Frisco Independent School District, near Dallas
“Increasing consumption is a fundamental PMA goal,” Jan DeLyser, PMA chairman, said at the opening general session of PMA’s Foodservice Conference in Monterey, Calif. “We know that increasing overall fruit and vegetable consumption is good business for our industry and means better health for young consumers. Getting these kids turned on to fruits and vegetables early in life helps ensure that they will develop healthful eating habits – and be our customers – for a lifetime. I encourage every one of you to consider what your company or you personally can do to contribute to this investment in our future.”
She adds: “PMA selected these states and these school districts because they are also close to the locations of major PMA events. This is one way we can give back to the communities that welcome our industry back year after year while also building demand for our healthy products.”
The donation fulfills a major part of a $100,000 commitment that PMA made in January and brings the total number of salad bars PMA has donated to date to 38; the association had previously donated 11 salad bars to schools in California earlier this year as part of an industry effort in that state. Funds used in the California donation – an additional $28,875 over PMA’s $100,000 – were raised by PMA volunteer leaders and members.
Remaining funds from PMA’s $100,000 commitment will be allocated later this year. Each salad bar costs $2,625.