Bakersfield, CA. – Bayer has committed $30,000 to the United Fresh Start Foundation in support of their mission to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables. As part of the partnership, Bayer is funding salad bars for four schools in the Rosedale Union School District and supporting the foundation’s Community Grants Program.
To promote this investment, 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 through the Bayer-United Fresh Start Foundation collaboration include:
1. Almondale Elementary School
2. American Elementary School
3. Independence Elementary School
4. Rosedale North Elementary School
“We so appreciate Bayer’s support of the United Fresh Start Foundation and our mission to increase children’s access to fresh produce,” said Tom Stenzel, President & CEO, United Fresh Produce Association. “Bayer is a perennial supporter of our work to place salad bars in schools, our Community Grants Program which is providing access to fruits and vegetables to kids outside the school day, and to help us in raising awareness about the foundation’s work, both within the industry and in communities across the country. We thank them for their support.”
As part of the announcement, Bayer arranged for a local grower from Grimmway Farms to speak to the audience of 4th, 5th and 6th 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 Manger, 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.”
She added, “Likewise, through the Community Grants Program, Bayer’s support provides fresh produce to kids after school, on weekends and during the summertime, helping to address a hunger gap, while also exposing children to fresh fruits and vegetables,” added Maloney.
Bayer serves as a member of the United Fresh Start Foundation’s Community Outreach Committee, which among other roles, helps foster collaboration between the foundation, schools, and community-based non-profit organizations that are committed to providing children with access to fresh produce.
“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.”
The United Fresh Start Foundation is a founding partner of the national Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which to date has helped facilitate the donation of salad bars in over 5,500 schools, benefitting 3 million children in all fifty states.
Last year, the United Fresh Start Foundation collaborated with the Kern County Chapter of California Women for Agriculture to donate the first salad bar to the Rosedale Union School District. Two additional salad bars for this school district are slated to be provided by the 2019 Tour de Fresh, assisting the Rosedale Union School District in achieving their goal of, “a salad bar in every school”.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2017, the Group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of EUR 35.0 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.4 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.5 billion. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
About the 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 in order to live longer and 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.