Congressman Tim Ryan Introduces Salad Bar Expansion Bill for Schools
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio has introduced legislation that would expand salad bars in schools. The Salad Bar in Schools Expansion Act, as it’s called, establishes grant funding to provide training, technical assistance, and placement of salad bars in elementary, middle and high schools all across the United States. It also ensures USDA is proactive in promoting school salad bars and allows schools flexibility to use federal funding for cafeteria equipment to purchase salad bars.
"This important legislation is about more than just salad bars in schools; it’s about creating lifelong healthy choices for America’s children," said Tom Stenzel, President and CEO of United Fresh Produce Association.
More than 30 million children eat their meals at school each day in the United States, and according to the United Fresh Produce Association, school salad bars increase children's consumption of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Over the last five years, Tour de Fresh, along with a number of members of the fresh produce industry, foundations, and allied businesses have donated more than 4,000 salad bars to schools, benefitting more than 2 million children nationwide.
The Salad Bar in Schools Expansion Act will help build on the industry efforts to ensure that more schools across the country will be afforded the same opportunity as current recipients of donated salad bars.
According to the United Fresh Produce Association, they along with produce organizations from across the country announced their support of this legislation, including:
- California Fresh Fruit Association
- Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association
- Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association
- Grower-Shipper Association of Central California
- National Potato Council
- National Watermelon Association
- New York Apple Association
- Ohio Produce Growers and Marketing Association
- Texas Citrus Mutual
- Texas International Produce Association
- Texas Vegetable Association
- Western Growers
- U.S. Apple Association
“The Salad Bar in Schools Expansion Act will enhance students’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables at school lunch and help to transform school food environments,” Stenzel added. “Salad bars are an effective strategy to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, introduce kids to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and one of the easiest ways for schools to successfully implement healthier school lunch standards.”
Stay tuned as AndNowUKnow follows the efforts of organizations like Tour de Fresh to increase produce consumption, including this new legislation.