For Immediate Release, October 16, 2014

Contacts:

For media inquiries, contact media@sugar.org.

Andrew Marshall, United Fresh Start Foundation
(202) 303-3407

Meredith Pierce, Saint Louis Public Schools
(314) 608-1593

St. Louis, MO – In recognition of National School Lunch Week and ongoing national attention around the healthfulness of school meals, The Sugar Association is donating salad bars to 10 Saint Louis Public Schools. The donation, announced today at Ashland Elementary School in northwest Saint Louis, is being made in conjunction with the United Fresh Start Foundation, a founding partner of the national Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign, which supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s broader Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation. The salad bar donations will benefit 3,500 students, providing increased access to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, while empowering students to make healthy choices every day at lunch.

“The Sugar Association is pleased to partner on this effort to support healthy school meals. Sugar in moderation can be part of a balanced, healthful diet and lifestyle, but there is no debate that the centerpieces of a diet should be fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other fiber-rich and calcium-rich foods,” said Andy Briscoe, president and CEO of The Sugar Association. “We want children to practice healthy eating behaviors and a key to this is ensuring that these options are readily available,” Briscoe added.

The Sugar Association’s donation builds on the organization’s belief that Americans of all ages should practice mindful eating and consume responsible portion sizes. According to Briscoe, “The St. Louis Public Schools have a tremendous commitment to the health and wellness of their students. We’ve seen the momentum of the national campaign to provide salad bars for schools, and when we saw the St. Louis school district’s request for salad bar equipment, we knew our organization could be in a position to support their nutrition goals.”

The ten schools receiving salad bars from this donation include: Ashland Elementary, Columbia Elementary, Dunbar Elementary, Fanning Middle School, Hamilton Elementary, Nance Elementary, Oak Hill Elementary, Sigel Elementary, Vashon High School and Yeatman-Liddell Middle School.

According to Lisa Brown, Principal at Ashland Elementary School, “Our students are thrilled to have the opportunity to select their own fruits and veggies from the new salad bar. Our school participates in the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), which provides an in-class fruit or vegetable snack during the mid-morning, and now the salad bar provides an additional opportunity to teach students about the importance of a healthy diet and eating fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal. We are so thankful for this opportunity to encourage healthy habits for our students.”

“The salad bar here at Ashland Elementary is a visual symbol of this school’s commitment to serving healthy meals, complete with a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, said Ray Gilmer, vice president, issues management and communications for United Fresh Produce Association. “We all like to make our own choices and children are no different. All of the salad bars announced today will provide students with an experience as they go through their lunch line, encouraging them to make their own fresh, healthy choices and creating an excitement about trying new fruits and veggies,” add Gilmer.

The ten schools will use the salad bars every day during their lunch service to provide students greater access to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, to engage parents and teachers about healthier meals at home and to create a healthier school food environment. New USDA nutrition standards for school lunch require schools to dramatically increase the amount and variety of fruits and vegetable served to students each day, and salad bars are the easiest way for schools to meet these requirements.

Several Saint Louis Public Schools already have salad bars, and have had them for years, but this donation represents the first wave of salad bar equipment received through the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program. The district is currently requesting additional salad bars to assist with serving more fresh fruits and vegetables. According to Althea Albert-Santiago, Director of Food and Nutrition Services for the Saint Louis Public Schools, “Together with our foodservice management company, Southwest Foodservice Excellence, we have a goal to expand salad bars to additional schools. With the new federal nutrition standards, we are serving more fresh produce and the salad bars are helping encourage our students to select these options.”

Schools interested in receiving salad bars through the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schoolsprogram can visit www.saladbars2schools.org for additional details and information about submitting an application. Organizations interested in supporting salad bars for schools can visit the website or contact Andrew Marshall, amarshall@unitedfresh.org, the United Fresh Start Foundation’s Director of Foundation Programs and Partnerships.

National School Lunch week is October 13 – 17, 2014. Designated by an act of Congress, and initially created by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, National School Lunch Week is a weeklong celebration of the school lunch program, providing an opportunity for school districts across the country to engage with parents, community leaders and media about their efforts to serve healthy, great tasting school meals.

The goal of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is to increase children’s access and consumption of fruits and vegetables by donating salad bar equipment to schools. Research and experience in schools across the country demonstrate that children significantly increase their fruit and vegetable consumption when given a variety of choices in a school salad bar. When offered multiple fruit and vegetable choices, children respond by incorporating greater variety and increasing their overall consumption. The United Fresh Start Foundation is working with the produce industry, foundations and allied organizations to support this goal. To date, salad bars have been donated to more than 3,500 schools nationwide, benefitting 2 million students.

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About The Sugar Association
The Sugar Association, founded by members of the U.S. sugar industry, began in 1943 as the Sugar Research Foundation, dedicated to the scientific study of sugar’s role in food and communication of that role to the public. In 1947, the Association assumed its current name. Initially, the Association had two divisions: Sugar Information, Inc. focused on public education and communication; the Sugar Research Foundation developed and supported basic and applied scientific research. The Research Foundation became the World Sugar Research Organisation, Ltd., in 1968. The Sugar Association continues with its mission of educating health professionals, media, government officials and the public about sugar’s goodness. More information can be found at https://sugarassn.wpengine.com.

About the United Fresh Start Foundation
The United Fresh Start Foundation is the United Fresh Produce Association’s 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization designed to help meet the public’s need for healthy, high quality, safe and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. The Foundation is devoted to enhancing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables through environmental change and public policy, and industry commitment to charitable endeavors. The Foundation is working to increase access and double the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by American children, helping to end childhood obesity in the next generation.

About Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools
Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools is a public health campaign to increase salad bars in schools across the country so that every child has the choice of healthy fruits and vegetables every day at school. Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation. Founding partners are: United Fresh Start Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, Chef Ann Foundation, and Whole Foods Market. More information can be found online at www.saladbars2schools.org.

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