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By Paige Brady, August 12, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady

Put Salad Bars in Schools!

If highly processed chicken nuggets and artificially flavored popsicles aren't your idea of a healthy lunch, get involved and help make school lunches healthier. Let’s give kids in your area a fresh start!

What are kids eating at school?

Highly processed foods are standard fare in many school lunchrooms, and more than two-thirds of public schools serve lunches that exceed recommended limits for fat content. And, we're paying for it with our kids' health. At least 30 percent of children are overweight, childhood obesity has more than doubled, and it is predicted that one in three will develop diabetes.

Our kids deserve better!

Whole Foods Market is proudly partnering with Chef Ann Cooper, a.k.a. "The Renegade Lunch Lady," to help schools make a change. Chef Ann has already transformed the school lunch experience for tens of thousands of children across America by helping their schools switch from processed foods to fresh, natural ingredients and scratch-made meals.

This Year: 300 Salad Bars by January

With your donations Chef Ann Cooper will install a salad bar in at least one school near each of our U.S. stores. That’s almost 300 salad bars! Help start the conversation about salad bars in every U.S. school.

Last Year: A Healthy School Lunch Toolbox

In 2009 your donations set the stage for a school lunch revolution by providing the funds to build thelunchbox.org, Chef Ann Cooper’s website providing free practical and professional tools and recipes for U.S. schools to create healthier school lunch programs.

How can you help?

Make a donation at any Whole Foods Market store in the U.S.to help us Put Salad Bars in Schools, or donate online at The Salad Bar Project. Give with confidence. 100% of proceeds will go to the non-profit organization Food Family Farming for purchase of salad bars and serving utensils, food service education and support, as well as oversight of the grant process.

 

14 Comments

Comments

Ruth McConnell says ...
My grandchildren attend Loudoun County,VA public schools. They had a grandparents day in the Fall and I had a school lunch during my visit. I cannot forget how bad it was. I was shocked. My daughter has always packed their lunches-fortunately. You can go online and read the monthly menu. They dare to print it! Putting salads in schools is great. I hope the kids are not too used to those carbs and fats and refuse to eat salads.
08/12/2010 6:46:46 PM CDT
majortom1981 says ...
My high school had a salad bar and this was back in 1994. I used to get it everyday for lunch.
08/12/2010 5:25:33 PM CDT
Dr. Josh Axe says ...
"more than two-thirds of public schools serve lunches that exceed recommended limits for fat content" this is unreal! We must educate our children on nutrition. The salad bar project is a great idea and great step forward.
08/12/2010 4:01:51 PM CDT
Christie says ...
I'm not surprised. With what the USDA allows (foodwise and for treatment of animals), children are exposed to more harmful chemicals in food than we know of. I am a student & a vegetarian & lactose intolerant. I also have two younger sisters. The high school I attended had a salad/sandwich bar, but with lots of processed meats & vegetables full of pesticides. Each of the 3 lines for food had processed meat, dairy and whatnot, and I've always found it very sickening. Fresh, organic, 'humane certified' food CAN be affordable. And I think that instead of schools buying new computers as much as they seem to do and wasting money on unhealthy choices. I understand that technology plays a HUGE roll in society today, but with the number of gadgets increasing in schools, advertising of sugary cereals and other unhealthy things are of easier access to kids. You would think schools would put healthy eating into action along with gym/movement classes and sports. I'm always stumped when I read the lables of food with lots of artifical ingredients and junk, and see that it's cheaper to buy. With all the stuff that is put into food, I know I would expect it to be WAY more expensive than food that is HONESTLY good for our bodies and for generations to come. I think that we all have the power to make the 'good stuff' more affordable by creating a higher demand and by getting our tastebuds used to it. Does anyone agree? -Sorry for the long comment...
08/17/2010 2:09:36 PM CDT
Valerie Lawton says ...
My principal is talking to the cafeteria manager about getting a salad bar in our school. She is not sure she can put a salad bar in her cafeteria because of the "goudelines" of the School Nutrition Program. Wish us luck. This is in Augusta, Ga.
08/16/2010 7:00:29 AM CDT
momof4 says ...
This is a great start; however let's follow the money and we'll see a clearer picture. Pepsi and Coke machines in the schools? The schools are paid a commission in sales. Selling fast food in high schools? (yes, they do sell it in the cafeteria) Should we believe that schools aren't being paid? Let's look at the wholesale company where this disgusting food is bought with the justification that a little (food-like substances) are perfectly safe. Offering a salad bar is a step in the right direction but my hope is to take all of the unhealthy food out of the cafeteria. Then, we would have to agree/argue what's healthy and what's not.
08/18/2010 2:36:16 PM CDT
J White says ...
The salad bars at my kids schools are bagged lettuce & packaged items, not fresh. The kids say it's gross.
08/18/2010 3:07:43 PM CDT
doug rowell says ...
When my children were in secondary school some 30 years ago they were taught not to drink beverage with their meal the reason being beverage on top of food would dilute the digestive juices and the food would not be digested properly. They brought this home and we adjusted and had only a small glass of water for the occasion of clearing the throat, and/or dipping the napkin in for cleaning the fingers after having finger-food. They also brought home that a balanced meal should have at least 3 different colors - i.e.: green, red, yellow/orange etc. Their mother liked the red, white & blue dish = eggplant-cheese-tomato sauce, mashed white potato and blue-corn tortias.
08/18/2010 3:28:03 PM CDT
sheila fritts says ...
This is such an important progressive change in school menus, I think if in the 70's we would have had better options there would be less of the health problems in children from then and leading to now. push forward on this :)
08/18/2010 7:04:19 PM CDT
Mary says ...
I love this idea, but unless we do something about the HIGH cost of fresh produce, we will wind up with salad bars with a very limited selection of items that children will simply not chose.......
08/18/2010 9:28:14 PM CDT
judy slack says ...
School lunches are overpriced and unbelievable low in nutritional value...fat, sugar and salt! That is what I experienced working at a local high school. Students were eating horribly and becoming obese before my eyes. I felt compelled to do something, so I wrote and illustrated a fun nutritional picture book for kids..."Crunching Carrots, Not Candy" to help children and their families make better food choices and to encourage an active lifestyle. CCNC was voted as one of the top 100 books by the National Educational Association and has become very popular with school nurses, teachers and other health professionals. I was at the cutting edge of this food revolution with CCNC. And now it has become explosive. I am happy that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to create a healthier lifestyle. I wish Raley’s much success in their endeavor with Ann Cooper and their salad bar project!
08/19/2010 11:05:07 AM CDT
judy slack says ...
School lunches are overpriced and unbelievable low in nutritional value...fat, sugar and salt! That is what I experienced working at a local high school. Students were eating horribly and becoming obese before my eyes. I felt compelled to do something, so I wrote and illustrated a fun nutritional picture book for kids..."Crunching Carrots, Not Candy" to help children and their families make better food choices and to encourage an active lifestyle. CCNC was voted as one of the top 100 books by the National Educational Association and has become very popular with school nurses, teachers and other health professionals. I was at the cutting edge of this food revolution with CCNC. And now it has become explosive. I am happy that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to create a healthier lifestyle. I wish Whole Foods Market much success in their endeavor with Ann Cooper and their salad bar project!
08/19/2010 11:50:19 AM CDT
Lisa says ...
It seems crazy that we live in one of the most abundant areas of the country for fresh vegetables and fruit, yet our schools do not have a salad bar option for our children. Besides just the monetary contribution to the program (which I have done), I would be interested in knowing how to apply for the program or create one at my children's schools.
08/20/2010 9:32:25 AM CDT
Cool Springs Mall says ...
Every school should be required to have a salad bar rather than vending machines filled with candy and soda.
09/27/2010 3:39:46 PM CDT