The salad bars are coming to a Midwest school near you. That is the goal of United Fresh’s Lets Move program in conjunction with the upcoming convention in Chicago. There seems to be a tremendous amount of industry support for this initiative. And justifiably so, since the return on investment is so high (some might say priceless).
I had the opportunity to speak with Jessica Shelly of the Cincinnati school system, She is a high energy mother of 6 year old triplets who wants the best opportunities for ALL of her kids (some 30,000 in K-12). She was doing creative things with fresh fruits and vegetables before it was ‘cool’ and her kids literally ate it up. Now she is reaching out to our industry for help in spreading the word and filling the stomachs of millions of school children across the country with the healthy and nutritious products we move each day.
She stressed that we need to be creative and cost conscious. Find new ways of presenting old staples. And be prepared to watch the volume of produce consumed by the youngest generation soar. She offers not only the enthusiasm needed to push a program forward, but the data to understand and guide the process.
My hat is off to all of those individuals who have worked so tirelessly on this project. It truly is an investment in the future of our industry, as well as in the future generation’s healthy lifestyle. We have embraced the program and our order for salad bars is in. Delivery is 6-8 weeks away. I can’t wait.