Investment Announced at Patriot Elementary as part of a Salad Bar Donation Ceremony and Carrot Variety Taste Test
Bayer is donating salad bars to four schools in the Rosedale Union School District of Bakersfield, California as a strategy to increase children’s access and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The announcement was made during an assembly at Patriot Elementary School, which received a salad bar last year and has experienced success with students selecting fresh produce from the salad bar during their breakfast and lunch service.
The four schools in the Rosedale Union School District receiving new salad bars include:
- Almondale Elementary School
- American Elementary School
- Independence Elementary School
- Rosedale North Elementary School
“After implementing a salad bar at one of our schools, and seeing how well the students responded, we look forward to this opportunity to bring salad bars to additional schools in our district,” said Dr. John Mendiburu, Superintendent, Rosedale Union School District. “Our students enjoy being able to self-select fruits and vegetables from the salad bar. Anything that encourages our students to make healthy choices is a plus. And since we’re located in a community surrounded by agriculture, it was nice to connect with our local businesses and discuss ways to incorporate locally grown produce on our menu.”
As part of the announcement, Bayer arranged a local grower from Grimmway Farms to speak to the audience of more than 50 fourth- and fifth-grade students about how and where carrots are grown, as well as coordinated a carrot variety taste test in which students were able to try several varieties of Grimmway carrots and vote on their favorite.
“Bayer is committed to supporting initiatives that provide children with access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and with kids eating a majority of their daily calories at school, the salad bar makes it easy for them to choose something that’s healthy and fresh,” said Jennifer Maloney, food chain and sustainability manager, Bayer. “This partnership is also meaningful because with today’s salad bar announcement, we’re able to collaborate with one of our grower partners and support healthier choices for children in one of our nation’s most prolific agricultural communities.”
To coordinate the salad bar contributions, Bayer worked with the United Fresh Start Foundation, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the United Fresh Produce Association. As part of the foundation’s partnership in the national Salad Bars to Schools initiative, they are working with the produce industry, non-profits and allied businesses to support salad bars to schools across the United States. To-date, Salad Bars to Schools has helped facilitate the donation of salad bars to more than 5,500 schools, benefitting 3 million children in all 50 states. The Bayer salad bar investment supports the national initiative.
The first salad bar donated to the Rosedale Union School District was made possible by the Kern County Chapter of California Women for Agriculture, also in partnership with United Fresh Start Foundation.
Current research indicates that the use of salad bars in schools promotes healthy food choices in school-aged children. With access to a salad bar, students are encouraged to try new items and are empowered to make their own healthy choices now, and in the future. The Salad Bars to Schools initiative aims to help school districts meet USDA school lunch nutrition standards, which require offering students a wide variety of colorful vegetable choices each week, and which promote a healthier lifestyle for students nationwide.
The Bayer commitment to sustainability and agricultural education begins with the people it serves every day. This commitment extends to fighting food insecurity and encouraging healthier food choices for a happier and well-educated community. For additional information and background on Bayer and its other programs, please visit www.bayercropscience.us/our-commitment/bayer-initiatives.
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