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Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools and the Second Anniversary of Let’s Move!

As we mark the second anniversary of Let’s Move! , we are celebrating the progress that has been made in providing children with a healthier future. One Let’s Move! initiative, Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S), has committed to placing 6,000 salad bars in schools nationwide. The goal of LMSB2S is to help schools increase the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables that are offered. This goal supports the new USDA school meal patterns and will encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.

In the first year, LMSB2S has delivered over 1,000 salad bars, which serve over half a million kids who can now enjoy an enticing array of fruits and vegetables every day at lunch. In celebration of this first anniversary, LMSB2S talked to some of the students, families, and school food service directors who have benefited from LMSB2S, as well as to the donors who have supported the initiative.

Second grade students from Los Angeles Unified School District’s New Open World Academy share their excitement about their salad bar.

Students

“My favorite days are Fridays, because it’s Salad Bar Day.” – Jiro

“I tell my mom to make me salads now.” – Ana

“I read the signs for the fruits and vegetables at the market, to find the ones from our salad bar.” 
- Nayeli from New Open World Academy, Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District of California

 

Parents

“I wanted a salad bar at Drew Charter School to give the students the opportunity to be exposed to more fresh fruits and vegetables with the option to try them. The school feeds 850 students daily, many of them qualifying for free and reduced breakfast and lunch. Many of the students have stated during our monthly chef-to-school taste test that it would be great to have a fresh salad daily. I can't wait to see the kids’ faces when they see the salad bar option." - Ashley Rouse, mom of a student at Drew Charter School, Atlanta Public Schools, Georgia
 

“I love that my child’s school salad bar provides a combination of fresh and canned fruits and vegetables to expose my child to a variety of fruits and vegetables.  The school salad bar encourages children to try the fruits and vegetables on their terms.” - Anne Whitmire, mom of a student at Santan Elementary School,Chandler Unified School District, Arizona 

“My children love the variety of fruits and vegetables available to them through their school salad bar.  They get to see their friends, peers, and teachers also selecting new fruits and veggies from the salad bar. Not only do they have conversations around fruits and vegetables because of the salad bar, but they are also more connected to their food and where it comes from.” - Adrienne Udarbe, mom of a student at Athlos Traditional Academy, Legacy Traditional School District, Arizona
 

Food Service Directors

“The Let’s Move Salad Bars to School campaign is significant in that the First Lady has raised the awareness of childhood obesity and made it possible for many schools that don’t have the resources to purchase a salad bar to get one. In my experience, salad bars provide the greatest opportunity for modifying students’ eating behaviors at school, by providing them the opportunity to make healthy choices. The Let’s Move Salad Bars to School campaign has made a major impact in the transformation of school meals that is currently taking place in the US.” - Rodney K. Taylor, Director of Nutrition Services Department at Riverside Unified School District, California
 

“Our charter schools did not have the budgets to purchase quality salad bars and had to use less than desirable equipment to display and serve fresh fruits and veggies. Now that they have beautiful, well-built, functional salad bars, students are gobbling up the unlimited choices of healthy, fresh, and tasty bounty. Thank you, Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools!” -Jean Ronnei, SNS Director of  Nutrition & Custodial Services at Saint Paul Public Schools, Minnesota.
 

“Since starting our salad bar program this year, the level of excitement at lunchtime has increased in our schools. Children asking for raw broccoli and garbanzo beans was no surprise to me, but it was a surprise to the “naysayers” who say that kids will NEVER eat that stuff. The kids in our schools munch on fresh veggies like they have been eating them all along. Thank you to Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools for increasing the nutritional value of our program OVERNIGHT!” - Chef Timothy Cipriano, Executive Director of Food Services at New Haven Public Schools, Connecticut.
 

Donors

“Salad bars in our country’s school system are a great place to start nutrition education for children. Starting this education early will hopefully build a foundation for a healthier lifestyle that includes a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.” -Rick Antle, Chief Executive Officer at Tanimura & Antle.
 

“Our partnership in 2007–08 with the Los Angeles Unified School District and UCLA showed that fresh fruit and vegetables bars improved the diets of schoolchildren.  The results of our donation and study, which included eight salad bars in elementary schools in low-income communities, were so compelling that in late 2009, we (with UCLA and United Fresh) were invited to help shape federal policy on effective ways to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and were asked to provide congressional briefings.  In the following year, we expanded the study with seven additional salad bars in LAUSD elementary schools, which will increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables for more at-risk children and will help give them a healthier start in life.” - Harvinder Sareen, PhD, Clinical Programs Director & Janice Hutchings, Social Responsibility Director at Anthem Blue Cross and Wellpoint Foundation, California.
 

Looking forward, LMSB2S is excited about placing salad bars into more schools. You can become involved and give kids in your community a head start by improving the healthfulness of their school meals by visiting  Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools to find out more. School district employees that would like a salad bar for your school or district, can apply here.