Bayer is donating salad bars to four schools in the Rosedale Union School District of Bakersfield, California as a strategy to increase children's access and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
This announcement was made during an assembly at Patriot Elementary School, which received a salad bar last year and has experienced success with students selecting fresh produce from the salad bar during their breakfast and lunch service.
The four schools receiving new salad bars are Almondale Elementary School, American Elementary School, Independence Elementary School and Rosedale North Elementary School.
As part of the announcement, Bayer arranged a local grower from Grimmway Farms to speak to the audience of more than 50 fourth- and fifth-grade students about how and where carrots are grown, as well as coordinated a carrot variety taste test in which students were able to try several varieties of Grimmway carrots and vote on their favorite.
To coordinate the salad bar contributions, Bayer worked with the United Fresh Start Foundation, a non-profit organization affiliated with the United Fresh Produce Association. As part of the foundation's partnership in the national Salad Bars to Schools initiative, they are working with the produce industry, non-profits and allied businesses to support salad bars to schools across the United States. To-date, Salad Bars to Schools has helped facilitate the donation of salad bars to more than 5,500 schools, benefiting 3 million children in all 50 states. The Bayer salad bar investment supports the national initiative.
Current research indicates that the use of salad bars in schools promotes healthy food choices in school-aged children. With access to a salad bar, students are encouraged to try new items and are empowered to make their own healthy choices now, and in the future. The Salad Bars to Schools initiative aims to help school districts meet USDA school lunch nutrition standards, which require offering students a wide variety of colorful vegetable choices each week, and which promote a healthier lifestyle for students nationwide.