BOONE, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dole Food Company (NYSE:DOLE) and Hy-Vee Food Stores today celebrated the donation of five salad bars to schools in the central Iowa area at the United Community School in Boone, Iowa. The salad bars were donated as a part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which has donated more than 1,440 salad bars serving more than 720,000 children across the country.
The event today underscored the practical actions schools can take to combat the growing obesity epidemic through healthy lunch options. As schools work diligently to comply with the USDA new nutrition standards for school lunches, salad bars serve as a reasonably priced, attractive option to increase our students’ consumption of fruits and vegetables.
As with so many places throughout the U.S., childhood obesity rates are a serious concern in the state of Iowa. As of 2011, Iowa was named the 20th most obese state in the country, according to the eighth annual F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011 report from the Robert Woodruff Johnson Foundation. Research has indicated that the widespread availability and relatively low cost of junk food in schools has contributed significantly to the rise of obesity.
“Research has shown that it can take at least 10 exposures to a new food before it is accepted by children,” said Marty Ordman, Dole’s Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications. “Salad bars can increase exposure to new fruits and vegetables and create a sense of ownership for students through the selection process. And from what we are seeing, students are trying – and liking – almost everything that is being offered to them.”
“Education and experience go hand-in-hand in the development of good eating habits,” said Jason Sheridan, assistant vice president, produce operations for Hy-Vee, Inc. “When children have the chance to sample fresh fruits and vegetables at school, they’re more likely to ask for them at home. This is a wonderful example of how schools and businesses can work together to create healthier communities.”
In November 2010, Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, a grassroots public health initiative working in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative was created. The partners of the initiative, including Dole, share a vision to significantly increase the number of salad bars in schools across the country until every child has the choice of healthy fruits and vegetables every day at school. This initiative goes hand in hand with the new standards from USDA, which aims to offer more nutritious choices for kids, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and school flavored milk that is lower in sugar and calories than ever before.
About United Community School District
United Community School District is located between Ames and Boone on Highway 30. The district is made up of 133 square miles of agricultural, residential and business properties. United provides a quality education for students through strong instructional skills of the staff, innovative educational opportunities, and by nurturing parent and community partnerships. We have active P.T.O. organizations, and patron advisory boards. Our proximity to Iowa State University also allows us to work closely and share ideas with student teachers, work study students, tutors and professors.
About Dole Food Company
Dole, with 2011 net revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
Hy-Vee, Inc., founded in 1930, is an employee-owned corporation operating 235 retail stores in eight Midwestern states. In 2011 Hy-Vee recorded total sales of $7.3 billion, ranking it among the top 25 supermarket chains in the nation. The company’s 62,000 employee-owners are dedicated to providing customers with quality products, outstanding values and superior customer service, delivered with Hy-Vee’s famous “helpful smile in every aisle.” For more information, visit www.hy-vee.com.
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