A food industry trade group's not-for-profit organization is donating salad bars to 100 schools across Texas.
The Let's Move Salad Bars to Texas Schools health campaign includes donations to 41North Texas schools, including schools in the Coppell, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw, Frisco, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Lancaster and Richardson districts.
"Next year, thanks to the United Fresh Produce Association, which will help defray the cost of our salad bars, we will open 10 more," said Mary Beth Ratzloff, director of child nutrition at Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District.
Ryan Powell, an HEB ISD student, said he has noticed a difference.
"The salad bar came in, a lot of kids actually started eating their food and there are more empty trays now, instead of just piled with other junk food," he said.
Approximately 12.5 million children and adolescents in the United States are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The numbers make the opportunity for fresh fruits and vegetables in school appealing to mother Amy Powell.
"The younger they are, when they can learn to utilize them is always better,” she said. “They'll start growing that way and also changing the habits of their friends, hopefully.”
The schools in the Metroplex slated to receive salad bars will have them installed by September.
Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools has donated salad bars to more than 1,600 schools across the country. The goal of the initiative is to donate 6,000 salad bars by 2013.
The campaign's founding partners are the United Fresh Foundation, the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, the Food Family Farming Foundation and Whole Foods Market.
The United Fresh Foundation is the United Fresh Produce Association's not-for-profit organization.