Since 2014, Tour de Fresh, a four-day cycling event presented by the California Giant Foundation, has donated more than 230 salad bars across the nation to help increase children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables. This year, Tour de Fresh expects to provide at least 50 salad bars to schools across the nation in California, Georgia, Ohio, Texas and Michigan, benefiting more than 25,000 students.
As of June 2019, Salad Bars to Schools has received 304 requests for salad bars from schools across the U.S, which would grant more than 150,000 students access to fresh produce.
“We believe providing access to a variety of fruits and vegetables offer an experience of choices that can shape behavior far beyond the school lunch line,” said Cindy Jewell, vice president of marketing at California Giant Berry Farms. “A donation of a salad bar provides a platform to encourage a lifetime of healthy snacks and meals to children who may not have fresher options in their home.”
Get to know the 2019 school districts receiving salad bars:
- Rosedale Union School District – Bakersfield, CA
- Acalanes Union High School District – Moraga, CA
- Mt. Shasta Union School District – Mt. Shasta, CA
- Ramona Unified School District – Ramona, CA
- South Whittier School District – Whittier, CA
- Barrow County Schools – Winder, GA
- Wadsworth City Schools – Wadsworth, OH
- Fort Worth ISD – Forth Worth, TX
- Michigan School District
Of the nine school districts across the nation benefiting from this year’s Tour de Fresh, there are more than 50 schools in Michigan alone, the most of any state, requesting salad bars from the national Salad Bars to Schools initiative, with more schools interested in using salad bars to empower students to choose healthier options.
Acalanes Union High School District in Moraga, CA, said it is committed and ready to move forward with implementing more salad bars in schools across their district. Over a year ago, the district decided to purchase one salad bar to pilot a health intervention – delighted with the excellent feedback from students, teachers, and parents, the foodservice staff applied for more salad bars.
Barrow County Schools of Winder, GA has an active Farm to School program and is looking forward to expanding their salad bar program this year – with only one salad bar currently incorporated. This Georgia school district works closely with the Wimberly Center, a non-profit where chefs teach cafeteria staff how to prepare and present fresh produce for their school meals.
According to a dietitian overseeing 9 schools in the Rosedale Union School District, consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables are up 20 percent since salad bars were introduced last year. United Fresh estimates that $1.3 million fresh produce sales have been generated in the last five years to stock the 230 salad bars Tour de Fresh has provided.
“The opportunity for the fresh produce industry to make generational impact is huge,” adds Jewell. “We are not just about the ride every year, we are focused on raising awareness of the salad bar program and helping children have access to fresher options. Each of us as riders, sponsors, supporters and volunteers hope to have a role in shaping future shopper preferences and impacting sales within the industry right now.”
The United Fresh Start Foundation provided Tour de Fresh organizers a list of those schools with the greatest need in hopes of the riders making kids school lunch dreams come true again this year. The Foundation estimates that an average of 500 children per school will benefit every day from just one salad bar. Thanks to the generosity and support of Tour de Fresh riders, sponsors, friends, and family, to date at least 120,000 children have been impacted by the Tour de Fresh movement since 2014.
With public relations efforts ramping up for Tour de Fresh, there are still several sponsorship opportunities to enhance your brand and support childhood nutrition through this initiative. Should you choose to join the cause and take advantage of this opportunity, you’ll be joining these sponsors:
Americold, And Now U Know, Arctic Apples, Atlas Produce, Basil Seasonal Dining, C&S Wholesale Grocers, California Giant Berry Farms, CHEP, Church Brothers, Coosemans, Crunch Pak, DMA Solutions, Earthbound Farms, EBX Logistics, Emerson, Famous Software, Fight Like A Girl Foundation, FreshPlaza, Gold Coast Packing, Good Foods, Gusto Handcrafted Pasta & Pizza, Interfresh, iTrade Network, JAZZ Apples, Lipman Produce, Markon, Misionero, Mission Produce, Ocean Mist Farms, Paramount Export, PRO*Act, Procurant, Produce Marketing Association, Regal Marketing, Renaissance Food Group, Robinson Fresh, Sakata, Specialty Produce, SunFed Produce, Sunkist, Tat-On Inc., Taylor Farms, Total Quality Logistics (TQL), United Fresh Start Foundation , and Western Precooling.