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Bring on the Veggies

First Lady Michelle Obama visited Riverside Elementary in Miami, Florida last week to announce Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, a collaboration with the Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, the Food, Family and Farming Foundation and the United Fresh Produce Association to bring 6000 salad bars to schools over the next three years.The First Lady explained the importance of eating your veggies to 5th graders at the elementary school:

“I have so much fun in our garden at the White House.  But I’m sure everyone here knows that vegetables aren’t just fun to plant and to watch as they grow…they’re good for you, too.  They’ll give you the energy you need to do well in school and help you grow up healthy and strong.  And one of the best ways to serve up these fruits and veggies is at a salad bar, where they’re all laid out for you to choose from.  That way, you can pick out the ones you like – and maybe try some new ones too.  Then you can mix ‘em up just how you want them, and then sit down and eat your masterpiece."

After a demonstration from Miami chefs Michelle Bernstein and Michael Schwartz, who are part of the Chefs Move to School program, the students and Mrs. Obama built their own salads, a healthy addition to any lunch.

Riverside Elementary was the first school to receive a salad bar but there are 5999 still left to give away.  All schools and/or districts that meet the bronze level of the USDA Healthier US School Challenge are eligible for a salad bar donation, with the stipulation that the school/district desires and can support a salad bar. All other schools and districts that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) may apply for a salad bar donation.

Interested schools can begin the process by completing an online application and creating their own individualized webpage on the initiative’s new website: Schools can then encourage donations for their own school’s salad bar, as well as receive donations from the general funds of the initiative. The website also offers details about the benefits of salad bars and resources to help increase fruit and vegetable consumption at schools.

Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools!