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Apply for a Free School Salad Bar

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, The Chef Ann Foundation - 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!

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44 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!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

Julia says …

I'm confused. You're providing the hardware but not the food?

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.

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!!!!!

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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!

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:)

paig292 says …

@Elle Sorry, the grants are for public schools participating in the reduced and free lunch programs.

Elle Bienenfeld says …

Can a private school apply?

Alexandra says …

I am doing a school project on this. Is there a list of the schools who have received a salad bar thus far?

Bepkom says …

Not yet. The grant application process is open until November 15th. Schools will not be chosen until that window has closed and all applications have been reviewed and processed. We will be doing that during the end of November and December, with an announcement publicly slated for January!

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!

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

says …

@Cynthia I reached out to Nona Evans, Director of the Whole Kids Foundation, and here is her response... "Any school that participates in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply for a salad bar grant at www.saladbars2schools.org. The key is to gain the support of the district's Food Service Director, they are the decision maker and support system for individual schools in a district. What we recommend is starting a conversation with the principal at your local school. If a salad bar is something they support, then it's best for them to escalate the request to the district level. The other option as a parent or community advocate is to approach the school board. There are some great tools available to learn about salad bars and other ways to improve school lunch at www.thelunchbox.org. Organizing a "Take Your Parents" to Lunch day is also a great way to build community support for change. There is a toolkit available here: http://www.myhealthyschool.com/lunchday.html "

Cynthia Knerr-Eftimiu says …

I didn't see Los Angeles Unified School District on the list of eligible schools. How do we become eligible. Cynthia Knerr-Eftimiu

Erin Williams says …

Hi, I would like to find out how can my daughter's school apply to receive a salad bar thru whole kids.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ERIN- You can find more information about salad bars in schools on the Whole Kids Foundation website at http://wholekidsfoundation.org/saladbars.php.

Maya Mirabal says …

6TH GRADE CLASS NEW MEXICO LOOKING FOR SALAD BAR AT NAVA ELEMENTARY, NEED MORE INFO WHAT TO DO NEXT, THANKS!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MAYA - You can find more info about the salad bar application process at http://saladbars2schools.org/guidelines.

Jonaka Young says …

Application for grant salad bars

Karen Frick says …

I'm a phys.ed. Teacher trying to improve our students lunch eating habits. We are a Catholic school with very little money and would love to have a salad bar. Unfortunately, our school can not afford this and was wondering how we could make this happen?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@KAREN - You can find updated info about school salad bars at http://www.wholekidsfoundation.org/schools/programs/school-salad-bars.

Derrick Gallentine says …

Being a very involved and empathetic educator at Summit Academy Community School in Painesville, Ohio, I have listened to and witnessed the lunch program provided and feel after many outcries for better food options the students of THE PRIDE would love a healthier option such as the Salad Bar Program from Whole Foods. My students are the source for this information and feel it is pertinent that Whole Foods, and ONLY Whole Foods, be the resource for healthier and more sustaining meals.

Corinne Ching says …

Wondering if we could still get some help. We are less than 2 miles from our Wholefoods in Kailua but are a budding private school really needing a salad bar. Could Wholefoods still help in some way? Pls. advise. Thanks!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@CORINNE - You can find info about how to apply for a garden grant at https://www.wholekidsfoundation.org/schools/programs/school-garden-grant-program.

Lynn Dombrowski says …

I think its a great idea that you are trying to put more salad bars in schools. My district is considering them for a healthy option for our kids.

Jeff Bunkert says …

My leadership group at Oak Grove Middle School is attempting to access the online grant application but it keeps saying that the page cannot be located. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JEFF - My apologies about the links. Since this is an older post, some of the links have changed. You can find the page to apply for a grant through 10/31/14 at https://www.wholekidsfoundation.org/schools/programs/school-garden-grant-program

sara larios says …

I would love to have you come to our school so that the children could learn to eat healthier and have choices about their health. Our school lunch have little nutrition and the chips that they offer them is full of artificial colors and flavors.

Fernando Rolondo says …

yes its a great idea