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!