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United Fresh Start Foundation to Connect Produce Industry with K-12 School Foodservice Buyers at 2017 Convention

Apr 20, 2017

Washington, D.C. (April 20, 2017) – The United Fresh Start Foundation will continue its engagement with leading K-12 school foodservice buyers by hosting a 2-day networking and education program in Chicago, June 14-15, during the United Fresh Produce Association’s 2017 convention. This annual foundation program, the Produce Forum for School Success, connects the produce industry with influential K-12 school foodservice directors who plan the menus and procure fresh produce for meal and snack programs in our nation’s public schools. 

As a part of the forum, more than 50 school foodservice directors will attend the trade show and participate in education sessions focused on procurement, presentation and promotion of fresh produce in schools. They’ll also take part in the Fresh Festival for School Foodservice, a networking reception where produce companies can share samples, showcase new and innovative fresh-cut products and packaging solutions, and talk one-on-one with school foodservice buyers.   

“We’re committed to providing an opportunity for produce companies to connect with K-12 school foodservice leaders, and the convention is an ideal time to it,” said Andrew Marshall, Director of Foundation Programs & Partnerships. “The Produce Forum for School Success brings together foodservice leaders who are elevating school meals by offering on-trend, fresh options for children. These are the folks who are ‘pushing the envelope’ on what school meals can be.” 

“This event has opened my eyes to what the produce industry looks like, and what’s possible,” said past participant Bertrand Weber, Director of Culinary and Wellness Services for the Minneapolis Public Schools. “The networking with produce companies is invaluable. Every time I attend, I come back with something new and something innovative and creative.”

The forum takes place June 14-15 at McCormick Place. Special thanks to this year’s Gold Sponsors of the Produce Forum for School Success: Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Grimmway Farms and Taylor Farms Tennessee for supporting the program.

During the forum, the United Fresh Start Foundation will host the Fresh Festival for School Foodservice, which will take place Wednesday, June 14, from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.  The following companies will exhibit at the festival:

Bejo Seeds

Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc.

DNO, Inc.

Duda Farm Fresh Foods

Freshway Foods

Grimmway Farms

HMC Farms

Maxwell Chase Technologies


Peterson Farms Fresh


Tajin/Mexilink Inc.

Taylor Farms Tennessee

Woot Fruit


Companies interested in exhibiting at The Fresh Festival for School Foodservice or becoming a sponsor of the program, should contact Andrew Marshall, or (202) 303-3407.

Every day across America, 31 million children participate in the National School Lunch Program, and over 14 million children participate in the School Breakfast Program. School districts procure healthy meals and snacks for thousands of children each day, and they are often referred to as, “the largest restaurant in town”.

The 2017 Produce Forum for School Success represents the fifth consecutive year that the United Fresh Start Foundation has hosted school foodservice directors at the annual convention.



About the United Fresh Start Foundation

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 children achieve the public health goal to make half their plate fruits and vegetables in order to live longer and healthier lives. We work to create an environment in which kids have easy access to high-quality, great-tasting and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, whenever and wherever they are choosing snacks or a meal, ensuring kids everywhere are Growing Up Fresh.  More information at:


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