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United Fresh Start Foundation Celebrates National School Lunch Week

United Fresh Start Foundation National School Lunch

This week, United Fresh Start Foundation is celebrating National School Lunch Week, with support from Bayer, by calling attention to school districts that continue to offer a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetable choices for students, despite challenges posed by COVID-19.

The federally funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) has been serving nearly 30 million children each day for more than 70 years. National School Lunch Week, developed by the School Nutrition Association, celebrates the NSLP by highlighting the nutritious foods available daily through school meals and underscores the importance of a healthy school lunch in a child’s life.

United Fresh Start Foundation will use social media to highlight how produce is being offered by school districts across the country, as well as conduct interviews with school nutrition professionals who discuss the fresh produce options they are including as part of their current meal distributions. The school districts represented in the interviews include Tucson Unified School District (Arizona), Vista Unified School District (California), Alachua County Public Schools (Florida), Cobb County School District (Georgia), New York City Department of Education and Union Public Schools (Oklahoma).

“During this year’s National School Lunch Week we are highlighting schools that are making fresh produce options a priority through on-trend, visually appealing salads, produce-centric main dishes and sides,” said Andrew Marshall, director of foodservice and foundation partnerships for United Fresh Produce Association. “We also are celebrating school nutrition leaders who are committed to maintaining the fruit and vegetable serving requirements, ensuring children throughout their communities have access to a variety of fresh produce.”

With USDA’s recent announcement that schools can now offer no-cost meals to kids through the end of June 2021, United Fresh Start Foundation will continue offering support to schools on sourcing, serving and promoting fresh produce to students. The Foundation aims to promote schools that are offering a variety of fresh fruit and vegetable options, inspire confidence amongst school foodservice operators to continue offering fresh produce and create opportunities for collaboration with United Fresh members in order to address school foodservice needs.

“At Bayer, we are committed to working toward creative solutions for increasing children’s access and consumption of fresh produce,” said Jenny Maloney, food stakeholder manager for Bayer. “With so many U.S. children relying on schools for daily meals, it’s critically important that we engage school foodservice operators to understand their needs, and provide them with knowledge, tools and resources to offer a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables for their students.”

The United Fresh Start Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization focused exclusively on increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Affiliated with the United Fresh Produce Association, the Foundation is committed to helping today’s kids achieve the public health goal to make half their plate fruits and vegetables to live longer, healthier lives.

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