The Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program has delivered nearly 2,700 salad bars to schools across the nation since its launch in 2010. School districts are embracing salad bars as an important tool to showcase locally grown, farm-fresh produce as part of Farm to School programs. The popularity of Farm to School programs has increased tremendously over the last few years. Many schools have seen that students choose more fruits and vegetables when products are fresh, locally grown, and picked at the peak of their flavor. Kids’ choices are reinforced with educational activities in the cafeteria, classroom, and community.
October is National Farm to School Month, and on October 11 we’re celebrating schools across the United States that load their cafeteria’s salad bars with products from farms, dairies, and ranches in their very own communities. Here are some examples of how salad bars donated by Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools are contributing to Farm to School programs:
- The Vermont Valley Community Farm in Wisconsin provides spinach and other vegetables that they grow in hoop houses to the Mt. Horeb Area School District. Students visit the farm to see first-hand where the food for the salad bar is actually grown.
- Students at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Maine plant, nurture, and harvest their salad bar vegetables at Roberts Farm Preserve.
- Missouri schools are using the “Rainbow Days” activity from the Lunch Box as a way to engage students in their salad bar programs. On Rainbow Days, students are challenged with the task of creating a “rainbow” on their tray out of the many local fruits and vegetables offered at the salad bar.
- Schools in the Montebello School District in California, like many schools throughout California, showcase the featured California-grown product from the Harvest of the Month program in their salad bars.
- The Kihei Public Charter School in Hawaii supplies its salad bar with strawberries, kale, and even papayas harvested by the students from their school garden.
- The “Lettuce Try It” campaign is aiming to get 10,000 kids across Georgia to eat fresh, local lettuce from their salad bars during the October Farm-to-School Month.
Salad bars are a good way for schools to showcase fresh, great-tasting, locally produced foods, and the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative makes it easier to get one. The Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program is available to any school participating in the National School Lunch Program, and the program works to supply salad bar units to schools that apply. Check out the information on how to apply for a salad bar unit and see additional informational resources on the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools Web site.