Tour de Fresh Connects with 2019 Salad Bar School District Recipients
- by Kayla Webb
WATSONVILLE, CA - Despite still being a few months away, Tour de Fresh, presented by the California Giant Foundation, is already offering a major win for the industry. This week, the four-day cycling event that has helped donate more than 230 salad bars (generating over $1.3 million in fresh produce sales) to schools across the nation announced a few of this year’s recipients of the next round of salad bars, once again offering all of us in produce something to triumph over on this fine Friday.
“We believe providing access to a variety of fruits and vegetables offer an experience of choices that can shape behavior far beyond the school lunch line,” said Cindy Jewell, Vice President of Marketing at California Giant Berry Farms. “A donation of a salad bar provides a platform to encourage a lifetime of healthy snacks and meals to children who may not have fresher options in their home.”
With health and wellness trending across all age groups in all 50 states, the demand for salad bars in schools has continued to increase, with 304 requests received this year alone. Since 2014, 120,000 children have been impacted by the Salads for Schools initiative, with an average of 500 children per school benefiting every day from just one salad bar. And, of the nine school districts that have thus far been listed as this year’s recipients, the Michigan School District includes more than 50 schools—the most of any state to ever participate in the Salad Bars to Schools initiative.
“The opportunity for the fresh produce industry to make generational impact is huge,” added Jewell. “We are not just about the ride every year, we are focused on raising awareness of the salad bar program and helping children have access to fresher options. Each of us as riders, sponsors, supporters, and volunteers hope to have a role in shaping future shopper preferences and impacting sales within the industry right now.”
As of this week, according to a press release, the sixth-annual Tour de Fresh is expected to provide at least 50 salad bars and benefit more than 25,000 students in a variety of school districts that have been waiting for over a year to obtain salad bars for their schools, including the following:
- Rosedale Union School District – Bakersfield, CA
- Acalanes Union High School District – Moraga, CA
- Shasta Union School District – Mt. Shasta, CA
- Ramona Unified School District – Ramona, CA
- South Whittier School District – Whittier, CA
- Barrow County Schools – Winder, GA
- Wadsworth City Schools – Wadsworth, OH
- Fort Worth ISD – Forth Worth, TX
- Michigan School District
While the salad bars will help increase students’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s not to say these school districts aren’t already healthy eating champions in their own right. For example:
- Acalanes Union High School District in Moraga, CA, piloted a health intervention over a year ago, purchasing one salad bar that was met with success. Since then, the district has been committed to implementing more salad bars in schools, even going as far as to initiate a student-leadership group that’s encouraging fellow students to make healthy food choices.
- The Barrow County Schools of Winder, GA, operates an active Farm to School program in their district and works closely with the Wimberly Center, a non-profit where chefs teach cafeteria staff how to prepare and present fresh produce for their school meals.
- In the Rosedale Union School District, consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables is up 20 percent since salad bars were introduced last year, according to a dietician overseeing the district’s nine schools.
To learn more about the 2019 school district salad bar recipients, click here.
Whether you’re planning on hopping on a bike this year or showing your support behind the scenes, there are still several exciting sponsorship opportunities available to support childhood nutrition. Should you choose to join the cause and take advantage of this opportunity, you’ll be joining the following sponsors:
Americold, AndNowUKnow, Arctic Apples, Atlas Produce, Basil Seasonal Dining, C&S Wholesale Grocers, California Giant Berry Farms, CHEP, Church Brothers, Coosemans, Crunch Pak, DMA Solutions, Earthbound Farms, EBX Logistics, Emerson, Famous Software, Fight Like A Girl Foundation, FreshPlaza, Gold Coast Packing, Good Foods, Gusto Handcrafted Pasta & Pizza, Interfresh, iTrade Network, JAZZ Apples, Lipman Produce, Markon, Misionero, Mission Produce, Ocean Mist Farms, Paramount Export, PRO*Act, Procurant, Produce Marketing Association, Regal Marketing, Renaissance Food Group, Robinson Fresh, Sakata, Specialty Produce, SunFed Produce, Sunkist, Tat-On Inc., Taylor Farms, Total Quality Logistics (TQL), United FreshStart Foundation, and Western Precooling.
For more information, visit the Tour de Fresh website. And for more exciting fresh produce news like this, keep reading AndNowUKnow.