Six school districts in Michigan will add new salad bars to their cafeterias over winter break as part of the national Salad Bars to Schools initiative.
The updated cafeteria food choices will be available thanks to a partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and United Fresh Start Foundation and will allow children the option to make healthier food choices while at school.
Food service staff at the schools will also receive a commercial grade sectionizer-slicer so they can chop and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables that will stock the salad bars.
“This partnership is so valuable, not just to the schools who are benefiting, but also for what this collaboration represents,” said Andrew Marshall, director of food service and foundation partnerships, United Fresh Produce Association.
“Both of our organizations understand how critically important it is that children have access to meals at school that include a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. With childhood obesity, and rates of diabetes, continuing to rise, along with the reality that those with diet-related conditions are at a much greater health risk, there’s never been a more important time to prioritize healthy eating, both for our children and families.”
Ken Hayward, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan vice-president and special assistant to the president for community relations, agreed, “Blue Cross is proud to support salad bars in Michigan schools to increase access to a variety of healthy options during school meals.”
Since 2015, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has placed more than 100 salad bars in Michigan schools, reaching more than 50,000 students.
“Healthy, nutrient-rich food choices are a critical component to helping children and adolescents lead healthier lifestyles and maintain well-being,” said Hayward.
The Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which is a public-private partnership that aims to promote and sponsor salad bars in schools, has already delivered nearly 6,000 salad bars to schools across the country, including more than 400 in Michigan.
List of schools
The schools receiving salad bars over winter break include the following:
Comstock Park Public Schools, Comstock Park
- Pine Island Elementary School
- Comstock Park High School
Ionia Public Schools, Ionia
- Douglas Welch High School
- Ionia Middle School
- Ionia High School (2)
Twin Rivers Elementary School
AA Rather Elementary School
RB Boyce Elementary School
Jefferson Elementary School
Emerson Elementary School
Beecher Community Schools, Mount Morris
- Beecher High School
- Dailey Elementary School
Roscommon Area Public Schools, Roscommon
Roscommon High School
South Lake Schools, St. Clair Shores
South Lake Middle School
Fitzgerald Schools, Warren
- Schofield Elementary School
- Westview Elementary School (2)
- Fitzgerald High School (2)