From the Finish Line of the Third Tour de Fresh
MONTEREY, CA - Starting out in the gray, brisk fog and ending in the warm sun, it was all smiles as riders came into the finish line of the final day of the third Tour de Fresh.
Nearly 200 miles, flat tires, hills, and honking cars, not to mention the “mud, sweat, and tears” of the sport of cycling, brought together a group of more than 50 members of the produce industry as they stood on stage and heard that they had successfully raised $157,312.
Not only is this the most any one Tour de Fresh ride has raised, but it means about 57 salad bars for U.S. schools.
“Our goal is to increase kids’ produce consumption,” Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, Vice President of Nutrition & Health with United Fresh, said as she thanked the riders for all they had done to help meet that goal. “We know when they have a salad bar that happens, and influences their lives.”
It is a big dent to be made in the 300 schools still on the list looking for salad bars, a key move in ensuring the future health of children.
Sam Farr, member of both the House Appropriations Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration, commented that beginning with health in childhood is where our national focus should be.
“I thank you, you are the first responders to turn America’s health,” Farr told the riders. “And to do it in such a fun way, you are my congressional heroes.”
Many turned out to both speak and listen to the gratitude expressed for all those involved, including Kenneth Lawrence, Executive Director of the Learning for Life Charter School, who thanked the Tour de Fresh for the salad bar his school will receive.
To wrap everything up with the camaraderie that has held this team together so tightly, Church Brothers Farms invited everyone back to the family ranch for some music, food, and fun.
“I just thought this would be a great way to finish,” Jeff told guests as he welcomed everyone to enjoy the beautiful view. “I love the Tour de Fresh, it’s officially my favorite week of the year.”
And for a group of people who had ridden through much of the northern California coast, they had no problem dancing the night away as Church Brothers Farms’ Drew McDonald and Evolution Fresh’s Brian Jameson struck up their band and invited anyone willing to come up and sing.
But it’s not over yet. While it was bitter-sweet tie-up to an amazing event, donations can still be made to get even more salad bars to those waiting schools. Ever since riding in yesterday afternoon, the Tour de Fresh has raised almost $2,500 more, bringing the latest total to $159,992. Don’t miss the chance to push that limit as far as it can go, and help raise the bar for the next Tour de Fresh!
You can find out even more about it by visiting California Giant Berry Farms at PMA Foodservice Expo on Sunday, July 31, booth #238.