Happy National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month!
Did you know that June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month? According to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children in the U.S. are still not eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. The CDC states that “about 60 million children in the U.S. attend child care or school where the food they eat and the nutrition education they receive can affect their health and lifelong food choices.” We’re proud to celebrate the holiday through our partnership with the United Fresh Start Foundation to increase access to fresh produce for children in schools in California and Idaho!
The mission of the United Fresh Start Foundation is to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables, with a commitment to increasing fresh produce consumption. Bayer serves as a member of their Community Outreach Committee, which helps foster collaboration between the foundation, schools, and community-based non-profit organizations that are committed to providing children with access to fresh produce.
The United Fresh Start Foundation’s Salad Bars to Schools initiative aims to help school districts meet USDA school lunch nutrition standards, which require offering students a wide variety of vegetable choices. With access to a salad bar, students are encouraged to try new items and are empowered to make their own healthy choices. Since 2010, Salad Bars to Schools has helped facilitate the donation of salad bars to more than 5,000 schools in all 50 states.
Not only do these salad bars provide a healthy addition to student’s diets, but they also provide a better connection to the growers that grew the produce they contain. Increasing children’s access to fresh fruit and vegetables is critically important and could not be done without our growers. Nor could we have ample access to produce at our grocery stores. This month, take time to reflect on how your fruits and vegetables got to your table, and make sure to thank a grower!
Bayer’s commitment to sustainability and agricultural education begins with the people it serves every day. This commitment extends to fighting food insecurity and encouraging healthier food choices for a happier and well-educated community. For additional information and background on Bayer and its other programs, please visit the Our Commitment section.