LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets  has collaborated with United Fresh Foundation and Produce for Kids to fund salad bars in 39 schools in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee through the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative.
The collaboration has resulted in the largest produce contribution to date to “Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools,” a public health campaign to install salad bars in schools across the country, giving children access to healthy fruits and vegetables every day at school. The contribution will benefit more than 20,000 students.
United Fresh President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Stenzel noted that childhood obesity is a nationwide problem, but that it occurs at a higher than average rate in the Southeast. Fruit and vegetable consumption among children is the Southeast is also lower than the national average.
“We are proud to have Produce for Kids and Publix Super Markets join us in helping schools in the Southeast,” Stenzel said in a press release. “These 39 salad bars will increase students’ fruit and vegetable consumption and provide healthier options at lunch.”
Publix Director of Media and Community Relations Maria Brous said the goal of the collaboration is to get children to develop a love for these healthful foods. “Foods that are colorful and fresh are tempting to the eyes and tastebuds. When children are exposed to fruits and vegetables from a salad bar, they are more likely to eat and enjoy them,” Brous said.
Of the 39 schools to receive salad bars, 17 will go to Miami-Dade County public schools, where just over a year ago, First Lady Michelle Obama  launched Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.
“This generous donation from Produce for Kids and Publix Super Markets will jump-start salad bars in Miami-Dade County Public Schools,” Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh vice president of nutrition, said in the United Fresh press release.
The program supports Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation. For more information, contact Andrew Marshall, United Fresh policy and grassroots manager, at 202-303-3407 or [email protected] .