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Georgia Students Celebrate Salad Bars in Schools

Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools (LMSB2S) celebrated a key milestone! All fifty states now have salad bars in schools – a major effort of the program. To date, LMSB2S has delivered over 4,000 salad bars to schools around the country, offering an additional 2 million kids a colorful variety of vegetables and fruit at lunchtime.

Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools sent two students to the Garden Harvest last month with First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.

Nicholas Mansour and Sebastian Mason II are rising seventh graders from Carrollton, Georgia who traveled to Washington, DC on June 3rd to participate in two events: a House of Representatives Briefing on salad bars in schools and the White House Kitchen Garden Harvest with the First Lady. The students love the salad bar donated through Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools to their school and were eager to share their salad bar and healthy eating stories with Congress and the White House. I interviewed Nicholas and Sebastian about their exciting day in DC. 

Nicholas and Sebastian (front row), Erin Croom, Diane Harris (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and Deb Eschmeyer (Let’s Move!) at the White House Kitchen Garden Harvest

Sebastian, how were you and Nicholas chosen to go to the White House?

SM: Just a couple of weeks before, Dr. Linette Dodson, our school nutrition director, chose me and my friend Nicholas to travel to the White House to be a part of the White House Kitchen Garden Harvest to represent Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools. We both love the salad bar at our school, and Dr. Dodson wanted to send kids that would represent that program and our school. Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools is one of the Let’s Move! initiatives, and I was very honored to have received this invitation.

What was the most surprising thing about meeting the First Lady?

NM: I was shocked at how down to earth she was and wow, she was tall! We talked with her briefly and then prepared to cook. The White House chef trusted that I wouldn’t cut myself in the process of slicing radishes and luckily I didn’t. I have to say cooking with the First Lady was the coolest part of the event.

SM: I had the opportunity to sit at the same table with the First Lady and dine with her! We also got to take home some honey from the White House beehive.

How has this experience changed you?

NM: This experience inspired me to try new vegetables. I think the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative is pretty awesome and is giving kids the opportunity to eat healthier foods!  Once we finished eating we went down to the garden. It was unbelievable!  They had every vegetable you could think of. After seeing all the fresh vegetables in the garden, it inspired me to plant a garden of my own. I want to impact the community and my school by influencing other kids to make healthier choices. I hope to get other kids involved in helping our community in realizing the importance of a salad bar in schools.

SM: I learned a lot from this amazing experience. Our trip to the White House definitely influenced the way that my family and I eat on a regular basis. My little sister is now excited to plant our own garden in our backyard. I hope that I can encourage other kids my age to live a healthier lifestyle.

NM: It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I was honored to be chosen to represent Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools, as well as Georgia and Carrollton City Schools.