The United Fresh Foundation’s A Salad Bar in Every School campaign has donated two new salad bars to public schools in the Washington, DC area, for a total of 50 salad bars to schools in need of more fruits and veggies.

Earlier this month, Friendship Public Charter School and the Imagine Southeast Public Charter School received new salad bars through the program during the United Fresh Washington Public Policy Conference.

“Both the Friendship Public Charter School and the Imagine Southeast Charter School have wanted salad bars for a long time and are committed to improving their student’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables at lunch,” said Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, vice president for nutrition and health at United Fresh. “We thank the Cambro Manufacturing Company and the Vollrath Company, two of the nation’s largest manufacturers of salad bars, for their generous donation of this equipment to District of Columbia schools.”

According to United Fresh, the display of the salad bars at a congressional reception during the conference piqued the interest of several members of Congress, leading to many to inquire about how schools in their districts could receive salad bars.

“More than 25,000 low-income elementary school students are benefiting from these first 50 salad bars,” added DiSogra in a recent industry release. “These students have greater access to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day at lunch.  School salad bars are an evidence-based strategy to increase children’s consumption of healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables. The salad bars donated through the A Salad Bar in Every School campaign are helping schools in the District of Columbia and nationally to improve the school food environment and the health of schoolchildren. There are many schools that want salad bars and we look forward to donating many more during this school year.”

Launched earlier this year, the industry’s salad bar campaign aims to donate salad bars to schools to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption.  The campaign has pledged to donate 1,000 salad bars to schools over the next three years as part of United’s support for First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative.  Salad bars donated through the campaign are currently in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina and Ohio.

“Research shows that children significantly increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables when their school has a fruit and vegetable salad bar,” says DiSogra. “Salad bars provide children with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to try and this increased access helps them develop personal experiences that can shape their behavior far beyond the school lunch line. Our goal is for children to develop a lifetime of healthy eating habits.”