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Whole Foods Market, Inc. : New Haven Public Schools give school lunches healthy makeover

09/27/2011 | 09:44am US/Eastern
New Haven Public Schools give school lunches healthy makeover

Whole Foods Market® and Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools donate 33 salad bars; Host “Make a Rainbow Day” to get kids excited about making healthier food choices

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Sept. 27, 2011)— New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) will now offer more fresh fruits and vegetables in the lunchroom with the addition of 33 salad bars in schools.  Through shopper donations from Whole Foods Market’s Salad Bar Project, a fundraising campaign created to help schools invest in their students’ health and bring more fruits and vegetables to the cafeteria, and Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, every elementary school in the district will receive a salad bar grant.

To celebrate the lunchroom makeovers and get students excited about digging into the new colorful, healthy options, Chef Tim Cipriano, executive director of food services for NHPS and Superintendent Dr. Reginald Mayo, will host Make a Rainbow Day with students. Guests of honor will include Whole Kids Foundation Board Member, Ken Meyer, “Renegade Lunch Lady,” Chef Ann Cooper; and representatives from Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.

Following a brief press conference in their school garden, Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School students will head to the lunchroom to see their new salad bar for the “Make a Rainbow” challenge.  During this event, students will taste their way through a delicious lesson on the power of eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, and then put their knowledge to the test in a challenge to create their own “rainbow” from the salad bar.

“New Haven continues to lead the country with school food and school reform. I see no better way to celebrate our school children than to actively promote the consumption of fresh vegetable through our salad bars,” said Cipriano. “Increasing access to healthy foods for our kids is a top priority. We are educating and feeding hungry kids in our schools.”

The salad bar kits include a five-well Cambro® salad bar complete with utensils, pan inserts, chilling pads and training tools.  Together, Whole Foods Market and Let’s Move Salad Bars have put over 800 salad bars in schools with the goal of 6,000 by 2013.

“The New Haven Public School district is receiving one of the largest salad bar grant donation to date and we applaud Chef Cipriano and his team for being so committed and accepting of this program. We hope it inspires other schools to take action and apply for grants,” said Meyer.  “On behalf of the Whole Kids Foundation, we’ll continue to work hard to provide funds for salad bars and we challenge other businesses and organizations get involved in this effort and help fund salad bars in school lunchrooms across the country.”

Of the nearly 20,800 students enrolled in NHPS, 80 percent qualify for free or reduced lunches.  Last year, the district served over 5 million meals to students.  NHPS salad bars will feature a variety of locally-sourced fresh foods that Cipriano has helped source through Farm to School and other healthy eating initiatives. For a full list of New Haven Public Schools that will receive salad bars, visit: http://www.nhps.net/node/416.

When:  Sept. 27, 2011

10:30 am: press conference

11:00 am: “Make a Rainbow Day” event with students

Where:  Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School, 170 Derby Ave, New Haven, CT

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About Salad Bar Project and Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools:

In 2010, shoppers donated more than $1.4 million during a seven-week fundraising campaign to improve school lunches through the Salad Bar Project, which helped fund 570 salad bars in schools across the country. Whole Foods Market joined forces with F3 (Food Family Farming Foundation)  a second year to help bring fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins to school lunch programs through an online grant process.  To make an even larger impact in lunchrooms across the country, Whole Foods Market also became a founding partner of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, whose goal is to provide 6,000 school salad bars across the nation by 2013.

About Whole Foods Market®

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM) is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company’s motto “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s nearly 60,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 14 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2010, the company had sales of more than $9 billion and currently has more than 300 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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