Chef Ann Cooper and Whole Foods Market are partnering to get salad into public schools. The new program is called the Great American Salad Bar Project, which aims to make school lunches healthier by providing students with more ways to eat fresh produce. The initiative will provide grants to schools to cover the costs of equipment, delivery and training. Each school will be responsible for providing the greens and toppings that will go in the bar. If you were to read more, you’d know that the schools also will be offered free promo codes, so as to assuage their financial burdens on costs.
“Every school can still find fresh produce,” said Cooper, who is the founder of the nonprofit TheLunchBox.org. “All we can do is tell them how important it is and give them the tools.”
A recent study from UCLA showed that a salad bar can significantly increase elementary students’ consumption of fruits and vegetables, and even have a positive impact on childhood obesity. “One of the major contributing factors to the high rate of overweight children in the United States is that they do not consume the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables,” said Dr. Wendy Slusser, lead author of the study.
Schools that qualify for the the Great American Salad Bar Project must be located within 50 miles of a Whole Foods Market, and participate in the National School Lunch Program. Schools selected to receive a salad bar kit will be announced on January 15, 2011. Find out more at SaladBarProject.org.