Monterey School District Nutrition Employee Rides In Tour De Fresh

Watsonville, CA – Between 2012 and 2014, each of the 22 schools in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District were gifted salad bars by the United Fresh Start Foundation, the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California Foundation and a host of local produce industry donors, working together through the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program. This year, a member of the district’s nutrition team is paying it forward by cycling 275 miles in four days for Tour de Fresh to put salad bars in other districts. Why? Because every school should offer fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a nutrition education program that fights childhood obesity and encourages healthy eating for future generations.

Jennifer Gerard from Monterey Peninsula Unified School District’s Nutrition Services department will ride from Hickory, N.C. to Atlanta with personal goals to raise $5,000 each to place at least five salad bars in California’s Upland Unified School District. As previous recipients, Monterey district employees have been able to see, first-hand, the positive impact that salad bars have had on thousands of students in the Monterey Peninsula area.

“We’re so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools to bring more fresh produce into our district,” said Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Director of Nutrition Jennifer Gerard. “We believe in supporting other schools through Tour de Fresh because we’ve seen the positive impact that this program has on our students’ health and education – we want that for every school.”

“Our children spend the majority of their day at school, so it’s important that we provide them with the tools to make healthy decisions when they’re not at home,” said Congressman Sam Farr. “When we support a movement like Tour de Fresh and Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, we’re setting the next generation up for success.”

Presented by the California Giant Foundation, the inaugural Tour de Fresh, in 2014, raised over $142,000 and, working through the United Fresh Start Foundation, placed more than 40 salads bars in communities in 11 states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. In 2015, Tour de Fresh and its participants aim to privately finance 100 or more new salad bars in school districts across the country.

“Jenn reached out to us, completely unsolicited, to ride in Tour de Fresh in support of other schools,” said vice president of marketing at California Giant Berry Farms Cindy Jewell. “We’re seeing the impact of Tour de Fresh come full circle because of Jenn’s commitment to supporting the cause after seeing its success of salad bars in her own district.”

“As a founding partner of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, it’s tremendously gratifying to see school leaders across the country step up to support salad bars in their districts, and even help out on future fundraising,” said United Fresh Start Foundation President Tom Stenzel. “Schools are finding salad bars a real solution to meeting demands for increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, while learning to ‘take what they want, and eat what they take’, thus minimizing plate waste. Kids get to try a variety of new products, and can always find different fruits and veggies to enjoy,” he said.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available, and riders are encouraged to join until all 55 slots on the roster is filled by emailing Brock Nemecek at

Additional information about Tour de Fresh can be found at and on the organization’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About California Giant Foundation

From the beginning, charitable giving of time and money has been a very important part of California Giant Berry Farms’ business. Today, the company gives countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars to 50+ worthy causes across the nation on an annual basis. In 2015, The California Giant Foundation was formed to unify the berry grower’s philanthropic initiatives and amplify the size and scope of their giving back. The California Giant Foundation is comprised of four pillars that inspire all of the charitable gifts, events and partnerships given or organized by the group, which include: childhood obesity and school nutrition, hunger and food insecurity, prevention and awareness, and community. For more information, visit

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 kid’s achieve the public health goal to make half their plate fruits and vegetables in order to live longer and healthier lives. We work 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.

About Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools

Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools is a public health campaign to increase salad bars in schools across the country so that every child has the choice of healthy fruits and vegetables every day at school. Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools supports First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation. Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools founding partners are: The United Fresh Start Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, the Chef Ann Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation. More information can be found online at

Source: California Giant Foundation