WASHINGTON, DC (Aug. 20) The United Fresh Produce Association is taking a seeing—or tasting—is believing approach to lobbying for inclusion of a national school salad bar policy in the Child Nutrition Act. At its September 9 Fresh Festival event, during United Fresh’s Washington Public Policy Conference, the association will feature a salad bar stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables to underscore the need for lawmakers’ support of the policy.
"This is certainly a great opportunity to advance policy that directly affects the health of so many young Americans," said United Fresh vice president of nutrition and health Dr. Lorelei DiSogra. "Having a salad bar in front of so many lawmakers shows them how salad bars can be an effective tool for increasing produce consumption and promoting healthy eating habits among students."
Capitalizing on the success and nationwide expansion of the Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program, United Fresh looks to build on kids' love of fruits and vegetables with a salad bar in more than 100,000 schools across the United States.
"Research has proven that, when presented with the option of a salad bar, children will increase their intake of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables," said DiSogra. "We are hoping that by providing the same options to lawmakers in the House and Senate, salad bars will become a standard feature in every school cafeteria."
Following the public policy conference, United Fresh will donate the equipment to a Washington-area school and track its impact on fresh produce consumption.
The Washington Public Policy Conference is the largest produce industry event of its kind, which attracts more than 350 produce industry leaders from throughout the supply chain. The conference features a keynote presentation by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, a march on Capitol Hill to visit more than 140 congressional offices, a town hall meeting at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and numerous other events.
The Fresh Festival, September 9, 5:30 p.m., is a signature event of United's conference during which Capitol Hill lawmakers and staff can sample fresh produce from the industry's leading companies.