In partnership with Salad Bars to Schools, Whole Kids Foundation has provided nearly 5,500 school salad bars since 2011. Salad Bars to Schools is a public-private partnership founded by Whole Foods Market, Chef Ann Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance and United Fresh Start Foundation. Collectively, more than $14.3 million has been invested across all 50 states providing over 2.7 million children with daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Salad bars at schools are a proven way to encourage kids to eat more fresh vegetables and are a successful strategy to promote healthy eating for students, according to research by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Eating nutritious food is linked to their academic success (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention); specifically, higher grades and standardized test scores, reduced absenteeism and improved cognitive performance. For these reasons, school salad bars are in high demand.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who funds the national school lunch program, more than 31 million kids eat school lunch every day and for many, what they eat at school is more than 80 percent of their daily calories. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that kids with access to a salad bar consume three times more fruits and vegetables, indicating that when kids have healthy options, they make healthy choices.