Congressman Tim Ryan Applauds Salad Bars To Schools 5,000 Salad Bar Milestone

Oct 18, 2017

Washington, DC – Over the last seven years, Salad Bars to Schools, a partnership founded by United Fresh Start Foundation, Whole Foods Market, Chef Ann Foundation and the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance has granted more than 5,000 school salad bars, investing over $12 million across all 50 states and providing over 3 million children with daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables. In Ohio’s 13th Congressional District alone, 12 salad bars have been placed through this program in the following schools:

Number of Salad Bars School District City State

  • 4 in Marlington Local Schools Alliance, OH
  • 2 in Brookfield Local School District Brookfield, OH
  • 4 in Tallmadge City Schools Tallmadge, OH
  • 2 in Lordstown Schools Warren, OH

"Healthy options in the lunchroom are critical to unlocking success in the classroom. There is no better way to ensure that success than through more salad bars in schools. That is why I have made it a legislative priority to help make salad bars more accessible and affordable for schools throughout the country.  I am proud of the work the Salad Bars to Schools program has done to increase access to fruits and vegetables for students across the country and in my district, and am proud to continue our partnership,” said Congressman Tim Ryan.

When kids have access to a salad bar at school, they eat more produce (The Pew Charitable Trusts), and eating nutritious food is linked to their academic success (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention); specifically, higher grades and standardized test scores, reduced absenteeism and improved cognitive performance. For these reasons, school salad bars are in high demand.

Not only is having nutritious food accessible to students good for their health and education, it’s also financially smart. The cost for one freestanding, mobile salad bar grant is about $3,000. This includes everything a school needs to get started: the bar, chill pads, pans and tongs. Each salad bar can serve a school for 10 years, which makes it incredibly cost effective with the true cost being about $0.01 per child, per day.

“We are proud to celebrate the milestone of having funded our 5,000th salad bar,” said Tom Stenzel, United Fresh Start Foundation CEO. “Thanks to the leadership and commitment of the fresh produce industry, more than 1,800 school districts are providing fresh choices for our kids through this program.”

About United Fresh Start Foundation

The United Fresh Start Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization focused exclusively on increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables.  Affiliated with the United Fresh Produce Association, the Foundation is committed to helping today’s kids achieve the public health goal to make half their plate fruits and vegetables to live longer, healthier lives.  The Foundation works to create an environment in which kids have easy access to high-quality, great-tasting and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, whenever and wherever they are choosing snacks or a meal.  More information at: www.unitedfreshstart.org.

Previous Legislative Work on Salad Bars:

In the 114th Congress, language from Congressman Ryan’s Salad Bar in Schools Expansion Act was included in the Senate Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, which required the Secretary of Agriculture to ensure that school food authorities develop and implement a plan to encourage the use of salad bars and provide training and technical assistance to eligible entities to assist in establishing salad bars in schools.

Earlier this year Congressman Ryan was able to include language in the FY18 Agriculture Appropriations bill that will allow schools to purchase durable equipment for salad bars, food preparation, handling, cooking serving and storage with a value of greater than $1,000 with federal grants. This equipment will help to serve healthier meals, improve food safety, and to help support the establishment, maintenance, or expansion of the school breakfast program. This bill passed the House as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill (HR 3354).