Sens. Susan Collins and Heidi Heitkamp Champion Federal Investment in Cafeteria Equipment for Schools
WASHINGTON, D.C. – United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel issued this statement in response to the introduction of the School Food Modernization Act in the Senate today by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).
“We applaud Sens. Collins and Heitkamp for their bipartisan leadership to help schools upgrade their cafeteria equipment and infrastructure. Students across the country are excited about new fresh produce choices in salad bars, breakfast and lunch options, and even fresh vending. But, many schools need larger walk- in refrigerators, portable salad bars, shelving, and electrical infrastructure upgrades to meet the needs of their students for fresh, high-quality school meals and snacks. We strongly support the School Food Modernization Act to provide both loan and grant assistance programs to schools, as well as a similar bill HR 1783 in the House introduced by Reps. Tom Latham and Mike McIntyre in 2013.”
Increasing children’s access to fresh fruit and vegetable consumption throughout the school day is a top priority for the country in reaching public health goals. The new nutrition standards for school lunch and breakfast, as well as Smart Snacks in Schools, are a key step in tackling childhood obesity to prevent the onset of chronic disease and reducing health care costs. School salad bars and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program are helping to transform schools across the country to support children’s health and lifelong food preferences for fresh, healthy foods.
United Fresh continues to be a leading advocate for both public and private sector investments in school cafeteria equipment. The United Fresh Foundation is a founding partner of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which has raised funds to donate salad bars to more than 3,400 schools nationwide.
Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association serves companies at the forefront of the global fresh and fresh-cut produce industry, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Western Regional office in Salinas, Calif., United Fresh and its members work year-round to make a difference for the produce industry by driving policies that increase consumption of fresh produce, shaping critical legislative and regulatory action, providing scientific and technical leadership in food safety, quality assurance, nutrition and health, and developing educational programs and business opportunities to assist member companies in growing successful businesses. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org or call 202-303-3400.