Backyard Farms® Helping Local Kids Make Healthy Eating Choices with Salad Bar Donation to Madison Elementary School
Gift part of program supporting Michelle Obama Let’s Move initiative
MADISON, ME, February 26, 2015 – Backyard Farms, the largest grower of year-round tomatoes in New England, announced today the donation of a new salad bar to Madison Elementary School (Regional School Unit No. 59). The school celebrated the donation, part of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign, with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony. Backyard Farms involvement will provide local children with increased access to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day at school lunch.
“We’re committed to being a part of our community, and we’re excited to be able to provide this salad bar to Madison Elementary School,” said Stuart Jablon, president of Backyard Farms. “This opportunity with Madison Elementary was right in our backyard and aligned perfectly with our business and our principle of giving back to the community. Several of our employees have children attending Madison Elementary, which is an added incentive. We see this as a great initiative that will provide an interactive experience to teach students about making healthy choices every day.”
Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s broader Let’s Move initiative and aims to increase children’s access and consumption of fruits and vegetables by donating salad bars to schools. Backyard Farms was encouraged to support salad bars for schools, in part by the United Fresh Produce Association’s role as a founding partner of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.
Launched in 2010, Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools provides salad bar equipment to schools as a strategy to empower students to make their own healthy choices, while also assisting schools with meeting new USDA nutrition standards for school lunch that require additional servings of colorful fruits and vegetables. Research and experience in schools across the country demonstrate that children significantly increase their fruit and vegetable consumption when given a variety of choices in a school salad bar. When offered multiple fruit and vegetable choices, children respondby incorporating greater variety and increasing their overall consumption.
“This is a tremendous gesture from Backyard Farms for which we are greatly appreciative,” said SAD 59 Superintendent of Schools Todd LeRoy. “We have wanted to provide a salad bar for quite some time, but for a variety of reasons have not been able to do so. Backyard Farms’ generosity will go a long way in helping us meet new federal nutrition guidelines that require we serve more fruits and vegetables. The kids here will be absolutely thrilled and I look forward to seeing their faces as they enjoy this new addition to our food service offerings.”
To date, produce companies, foundations and health minded corporations have donated salad bars to 4,000 schools nationwide, including to more than 30 schools in Maine. Schools interested in requesting salad bars and learning about Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools can visit www.SaladBars2Schools.org.
About Backyard Farms
Located in Madison, Maine, Backyard Farms is committed to growing fresh, ripened-on-the-vine tomatoes year-round for consumers across the Northeast. All Backyard Farms tomatoes are non-GMO and are hydroponically grown in the company’s 42 acre greenhouse where they are left on the vine until fully ripe. They are then picked, packed, and shipped no further than a day’s drive to your local market, creating a tomato that is sweet and bursting with flavor. The company bases its business on the principles of growing the best tomatoes possible, taking care of its employees, giving back to local communities and treating the earth with respect.
About Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools
Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools is a public health campaign to mobilize and engage stakeholders at the local, state and national level to support salad bars for schools across the country so that every child has the choice of healthy fruits and vegetables every day at school. Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools is an initiative of the Chef Ann Foundation (formerly the Food Family Farming Foundation (F3)), National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance (including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; NFVA/CDC), United Fresh Produce Association Foundation and Whole Foods Market/Whole Kids’ Foundation to support First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative. More information can be found online at www.saladbars2schools.org.