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Help bring a salad bar to a public school near you!

In-store and online donation drive helps shoppers fund salad bar kits in schools across the country. Local schools may apply for a salad bar for their school through a grant process.

Whole Foods Market, its shoppers and Chef Ann Cooper, the nation’s “Renegade Lunch Lady,” have joined forces to help bring fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins to school lunch programs and raise awareness around healthier school food through a project that will fund salad bars for public schools across the country.

From now until Sept. 29, shoppers may donate to the project at the check-out or make a donation online through saladbarproject.org. Each salad bar kit costs approximately $2,500 dollars, and includes a portable 5-well salad bar unit with all the necessary insert pans, cutting boards, knives and shipping costs.  Salad bar training tools and videos for school nutrition staff will also be available through TheLunchBox.org.

The salad bars will be donated to local schools through a simple online grant process. Whole Foods is working with Sodexo (the food service provider for the Rhode Island public schools) to ensure each salad bar, placed in a local school, will be filled with healthy nutritious salad fixings. Whole Foods Market is partnering with Cooper’s nonprofit, F3: Food Family Farming Foundation, which will administer the grant process.  Any public elementary, middle or high school within 50 miles of a Whole Foods Market is eligible to apply with the support of the school principal, nutrition service director and the superintendent of the district.  The online application and full criteria is available at saladbarproject.org.

The application asks for basic school information such as the percentage of students enrolled in the Federal Free and Reduced Meal Program and participation in the school’s Reimbursable School Lunch Program.  Grant applications will be accepted between Sept. 1 and Nov. 1.  Applicants chosen based on the grant criteria and the level of the school’s commitment to sustaining the salad bar will be announced in early January 2011.

Learn more and support the project by attending the film Screening of What’s on your plate? A witty and provocative documentary produced and directed by award-winning Catherine Gund about kids and food politics.
When: Tuesday, September 28 at 7pm
Where: Local 121, 121 Washington Street, Providence.
Admission: $5 donation to the Salad Bar Project. Optional salad bar buffet at 6:15pm, Cost $10.
Film sponsored by Whole Foods and Kidoinfo

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Written by Anisa Raoof