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Dole, Caito Foods and Martin’s Supermarkets donate salad bars to five Indiana schools


Dole reaffirmed its commitment to increase healthier food options for students by teaming up with grocery retailer Martin’s Supermarkets and wholesale foods supplier Caito Foods to donate salad bars to five public schools in Indiana.

These self-serve produce bars will feature an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Since one in three Midwest children, ages 9 to 11, is at risk or already overweight, we need to look at whole new ways to encourage healthier eating,” said Bil Goldfield, Dole’s director of corporate communications. “One of Dole’s goals is to start the nutrition conversation, and offer tangible healthy alternatives, as early in childhood as possible. By offering permanent salad bars stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables, we are hopefully establishing healthier eating habits that will last a lifetime.”

The school districts receiving the new salad bars include:

  • Elkhart Community Schools (Elkhart, Ind.): Two salad bars

  • Fairfield Community Schools (Goshen, Ind.): One salad bar

  • Southwest School Corp (Sullivan, Ind.): Two salad bars

Representatives from Dole, Caito Foods, Martin’s Supermarkets and the United Fresh Foundation presented West Side Middle School in Elkhart this week with a new salad bar at a dedication ceremony.

“This new salad bar supports our commitment to health education,” said West Side Middle School Principal Kristie Stutsman. “It enables us to provide more fresh fruit and vegetables so West Side students can make fresh meal choices every day.”

“Caito Foods is pleased to partner with Dole and Martin’s Supermarkets and United Fresh to improve students’ access to fresh produce,” said Bob Kirch, president of the Indianapolis, Ind.-based wholesale food provider. “We’re proud to be able to play a role in keeping these salad bars stocked with fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables, and to start impacting behaviors that could ultimately change lives.”

“Martin’s is known as a Midwest leader in high-quality fresh produce — so it’s only fitting that we help make today’s salad bars possible,” said Martin’s Supermarkets director of produce and floral Ed Osowski. “Helping students and their parents discover the joys of new recipes featuring fresh fruits and vegetables aligns perfectly with the Martin’s mission.”

The salad bars were arranged through a partnership with the United Fresh Foundation to support the organization’s Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which is committed to increasing children’s produce consumption by working with the produce industry, foundations and allied businesses to support salad bars for schools nationwide. In January 2014, the foundation announced a special Midwest focus to their campaign, aligning the initiative with its annual produce industry convention in Chicago. Let’s Move Salad Bars to Midwest Schools, a special campaign under the umbrella of the national effort, is focused on supporting salad bars for schools in six Midwest states: Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“We are pleased to partner with Martin’s Supermarkets, Caito Foods and Dole to provide salad bars to schools in this area of the country, ensuring students here will have access to more fresh produce, and healthier options at lunch,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association. “Salad bars are a visual representation of healthy school meals, they are popular with students who enjoy making their own healthy choices, and salad bars are often a conversation starter amongst students, school administrators and parents about the importance of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables each day.”

New USDA nutrition standards for school lunch require schools to dramatically increase the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables served to students every day.

Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools has facilitated the donation of salad bars to more than 3,500 schools, benefitting nearly 2 million students every day.

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