Last Friday, United Fresh's Dr. Lorelei DiSogra and Andrew Marshall met with New York City School Food officials to discuss their commitment to having fruit and vegetable salad bars in every NYC school. New York City, the largest school district in the country serves about 1 million students every day.
Chef Jorge Collazo, executive chef for NYC schools, is the inspiration for adding more fresh fruits and vegetables and salad bars to the city's school meals. Salad bars have been his single most successful innovation; first placing them in high schools, then middle schools and now elementary schools. Chef Jorge and NYC school food officials are seriously committed to getting a salad bar in every school in the city.
New York City recently purchased 99 new salad bars for elementary schools and many refrigerators using $2 million they received from the Stimulus funding for cafeteria equipment. Chef Jorge has also developed a Salad Bar Field Guide to help schools create a successful salad bar with a variety of flavors, textures and colors. He has also trained school food officials from other large cities on how to implement salad bars.
Chef Jorge and other NYC School Food officials accompanied Lorelei to Brooklyn's Public School 56 to see their new salad bar and have lunch with students. "Friday is pizza day in all NYC schools and after getting their slice of pizza the kids went to the salad bar and piled on broccoli, lettuce, carrots, celery and apples. The fresh fruits and vegetables in the salad bar were beautiful and many of the young kids added 3 to 4 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables to their trays," said Dr. DiSogra.
City officials noted that their biggest challenge is funding to place salad bars in more schools and to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables. "To see this salad bar, how it is benefiting these children, and to know that 99 NYC elementary schools now have new salad bars, makes all of our work on the Stimulus worth it. This is the reason United Fresh is working so hard to ensure Congress provides additional funding for cafeteria equipment in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization and why we have launched our Salad Bar in Every School Campaign." said Dr. DiSogra. There are thousands of schools nation-wide that want salad bars and need new cafeteria equipment so they can serve healthier meals. Contact Lorelei DiSogra for more information.