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Apply for a Free School Salad Bar

By Paige Brady, September 1, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady
By now, you've probably heard about our goal of putting 300 salad bars into public schools across the U.S. Thanks to our amazing customers, we've raised over $681,000 in just three weeks. That's about 272 salad bars! Woohoo! We've still got the full month of September to gather more donations, so keep 'em coming. Once again, you, our customers, are showing how in touch you are with the needs of our community. Let's work together to shatter that 300 salad bar goal. And here's the next step in the process of changing our schools: the Great American Salad Bar Project's grant application is now open for schools to apply for one of these free salad bars. Now don't get worried when you hear the word "grant." Our partners, Chef Ann Cooper's Food, Family, Farming Foundation (F3) - who are conducting the grant process - have made sure it is very simple. The whole point of the formal grant is to make sure that the schools receiving the salad bars have the support they need to make good use of them. Makes sense, right? We know that our customers care about their local schools. So your role is to help us get the word out about the grants. Any public schools - elementary schools, middle schools or high schools - within a 50-mile radius of a Whole Foods Market store are eligible to apply. F3 will be accepting grant applications from September 1st through November 15th. Schools selected by F3 will be announced by January 15, 2011 and salad bar kits will be shipped to schools within a month. Any parent, teacher, food service worker or other concerned person can make sure that eligible schools are aware of The Salad Bar Project. In fact, we know that parents and teachers are often the drivers of making great new things like this happen for their schools. We're depending on you to help get the word out about the grants so a school administrator can complete the online grant application. And just in case you are wondering, the food on these salad bars will be provided through the schools current buying channels for procuring food. The grant money, raised by customer donations, will be used to buy the actual salad bar. Each school that is chosen will receive a portable, five-well Cambro salad bar complete with utensils, pan inserts, chilling pads and training tools. The Lunch Box will provide the necessary training tools and ongoing support to help ensure proper management. More than 31 million children rely on the National School Lunch Program every school day. For many of these kids, school lunch is their only complete meal of the day. Let's make sure that salad bar choices are part of that meal! Learn more in our salad bar FAQ, encourage your local school to visit The Salad Bar Project to apply for a grant, and continue to donate to the cause at the registers or online. Thanks for your support!

 

39 Comments

Comments

connected2u says ...
I hope these salad bars are going into inner city schools too and not just the suburbs and upscale neighborhoods - like Whole Foods is!
09/01/2010 11:05:05 AM CDT
Nicole says ...
I have 3 kids in the public school system on free/reduced lunch. I would love this opportunity for them and the other children out there seeking more nutritious choices. Thank you!
09/01/2010 11:46:51 AM CDT
Kevin says ...
I hope these are being randomly assigned to schools (perhaps among inner city schools) so that the effects of the salad bar can be scientifically evaluated.
09/01/2010 12:41:11 PM CDT
Cori says ...
What a great concept! As a parent of two children, this sounds wonderful to me and I know my kids would love it!
09/01/2010 1:02:18 PM CDT
Jennifer says ...
It's too bad schools have to be within 50 miles of a Whole Foods. My mom teaches at a school where almost all the kids get free lunches and breakfasts (typically 1-2 kids bring their lunch in a class of 30) and they could really benefit from something like this. But they're 147 miles from a Whole Foods.
09/01/2010 1:06:22 PM CDT
Andrea B. says ...
I think this is great, as anything to help people eat more healthy is. However, I sure would love to see another Whole Foods store open, perhaps in Lakewood Ranch?? Are there any plans of that happening anywhere in the Sarasota/Bradenton area?
09/02/2010 10:06:00 AM CDT
kitchenMage says ...
This is an interesting and needed program. I am curious, however, about the restriction of 'within 50 miles of a WF store'. At first I thought it was because WF was supplying the produce but you say it will go through normal purchasing channels. So what's the deal? You seem to be saying only potential customers' kids count. You don't really think that, do you?
09/02/2010 3:09:41 PM CDT
Meena says ...
I have two kids. We are regular customers of Whole Foods. We try to eat as much organic food as possible. This is a great idea. I would like to donate, but first want to understand how you are selecting schools and which schools from Collierville, TN area are in the program currently? Thanks for this programs, it defenetly will benefit kids.
09/02/2010 4:13:29 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Meena Any public school within a 50 mile radius of a Whole Foods Market store can apply to receive a salad bar. In the grant application, the school administrator answers a few questions about how they will support the salad bar in their school. We can't say which schools in your area will be applying, but we hope you will spread the word to them that they can! Thanks.
09/02/2010 4:43:37 PM CDT
Julia says ...
I'm confused. You're providing the hardware but not the food?
09/02/2010 5:13:22 PM CDT
Amy U. says ...
This is a great idea- I wish the cafeteria workers at my school would be willing to get on board with something like this. Unfortunately, they are of the "children's won't eat salad" mindset. ARGH!!!!!
09/02/2010 11:45:56 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Julia Yes, the salad bar units cost $2500 each and our customers' donations go to fund that part. School districts have contracts with food suppliers and they would continue to honor those with their food purchases. Food purchasing and government subsidized lunches have a lot of regulations and it's a very complicated process.
09/03/2010 8:11:31 AM CDT
diane lopes says ...
i think is it a good idea, after seeing jamie oliver's program food revolution. it would be good if all us school districts could have a salad bar in their schools, as an alternative.
09/03/2010 1:09:55 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@kitchenMage We absolutely believe that all kids deserve healthy lunches, regardless of their economic background or geographic location. Thanks for providing the opportunity to share our thinking on this. The Salad Bar Project is a program that is designed to keep going and expanding to many more schools over time. We are jumpstarting the process with the help of our customers by funding 300 salad bars. Last year you may recall that we began the journey of improving school lunches by raising funds to help build thelunchbox.org, which provides schools everywhere with FREE tools to make changes to their school lunches. We heard from our team members and customers that this year, they wanted to be able to make changes in their own communities --- to be able to not only fundraise for salad bars in schools where they live and work, but to also participate and volunteer in these schools to help make a difference. The 50-mile parameter was established as a way to fulfill the desire of our team members and customers to make a difference locally. Now, if you look at a map, you’ll see that a 50-mile radius is a very large area. Within 50 miles of any of our stores, you will find a range of schools in neighborhoods of varying economic levels. Also, the grant application process to receive a salad bar is only available to public schools that meet government guidelines for reduced or free lunch through the National School Lunch Program. Eventually, The Salad Bar Project will expand to schools in all areas of the country, but we wanted to honor the request of our team members and customers to focus on local community first, and then expand.
09/06/2010 2:17:32 PM CDT
Shanda says ...
It is really too bad that this type of grant is for Public Schools only. I work for a struggling private school where 100% of the students are at or below the poverty guidelines. It is a shame that most of our students do not have access to these much needed items in their diets. We also struggle with the fact that many of our students are of refugee families and introducing them to the fruits and veggies here can be a task. Thank you:)
09/07/2010 11:04:53 AM CDT
Celeste says ...
would love for our town to be included in this grant but we are 59 miles away. Most of our children live below the poverty line and rely on school lunches which are packaged processed foods.
09/07/2010 10:26:31 PM CDT
Leann says ...
I just called our school in AISD to get the principals opinion on applying and she said the district sent out a memo saying it was against policy to get a salad bar. I'm wondering who will get the salad bars?
09/09/2010 1:03:56 PM CDT
Janet says ...
Is it possible for a private school that uses a public school to make their lunches (they use the same menu and just buy a portion of the food) to be included? My kids go to a private school that has over 300 kids. Thank you. It would be wonderful for them to have a salad bar.
09/09/2010 10:11:48 PM CDT
Mary says ...
I am so excited about this. From the time my children started school (they are both in high school now) I have tried to get more healthful eating integrated into the school lunch program. There was not much interest or motivation 11 years ago when I started asking about this. There is so much buzz about this now, I am thrilled. I am going to work with my school district to apply for the high school to win this salad bar. Great program!
09/09/2010 11:24:59 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Leann Nobody said that change was easy! We’re fortunate that the food service team at AISD has been working to improve the quality of children’s food for years. In fact they have made some great strides. What we know from our work in communities across the country is that salad bars in schools do work. They provide children with a choice of healthy foods everyday. Currently if a child doesn’t like the vegetable on the menu, they don’t eat it. By introducing salad bars and supporting the school and children with education about healthy food choices kids expand the variety of foods they will choose. We’ve seen it. Elementary school children can serve themselves from an appropriately sized salad bar (which ours are) and they, believe it or not, will choose things like beans or lettuce or fruit! We’d like to encourage you to make other parents aware, to educate those around you about the opportunity and hopefully your principal and others in the district will stand up and ask to be a pilot. We’re also working continually to educate our educators. You may also want to weigh in to the School Health Advisory Committee. This group advises the district about opportunities to improve the health of our children and represent parents. Thanks for your interest and concern.
09/10/2010 8:06:25 AM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Janet Sounds like a unique situation. We encourage you to contact F3 (linked in the article) who is handling the grant process to specific questions like this.
09/10/2010 8:15:02 AM CDT
Elle Bienenfeld says ...
Can a private school apply?
09/14/2010 8:34:12 AM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Elle Sorry, the grants are for public schools participating in the reduced and free lunch programs.
09/14/2010 9:48:17 AM CDT
fed up says ...
Feeding children is the job of PARENTS! Stop begging me for money when I check out. I am already paying for other people's children with my taxes. ENOUGH of the subsidies that are killing this country!
09/17/2010 2:05:31 PM CDT
Organic1 says ...
I love the idea of making school lunches more healthy but nothing will change until the FOOD SUPPLIERS are changed. If schools continue to go through their regular suppliers, kids will continue to be fed the same chemical-laden/nutrition-poor food they have been fed in the past. Whole Foods, up the ante...provide the FOOD or start contracting with schools to provide the food. I teach in a public school and I teach the difference between conventional food and organic in my biology classes. Kids can't utilize this knowledge when the choices they are offered are ruled by the government's dollars. "Be the change you wish to see in the world." ---Ghandi
10/08/2010 1:59:53 PM CDT

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