In August, I told you about the Salad Bar Project—a program that allows Whole Foods Market customers to donate money for school salad bars.
I’m happy to report that 7 weeks of fundraising have brought in $1.4 million, which will fund 570 salad bars in U.S. schools.
“The overwhelming support our shoppers have shown for the Salad Bar Project is heartwarming—just plain amazing,” says Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb. “We nearly doubled the original fundraising goal, so it’s clear our customers share our passion for supporting more nutritious offerings in school lunchrooms across the country.”
Schools can apply for a grant for a free salad bar kit through Nov. 15. Applicants must participate in the National School Lunch Program, be located within a 50-mile radius of any Whole Foods Market and demonstrate a commitment to sustaining a healthy cafeteria salad bar for 2 school years.
Each school will need approval from its district superintendent, school principal and nutrition-services director. Grant awards will be based on need, potential for impact, commitment to the program and potential for future viability when the grant period has ended. Grant recipients will be announced on Jan. 15.
“We believe America has spoken loudly with their generous support,” says Chef Ann Cooper, whose Food, Family, Farming Foundation collaborated with Whole Foods. “They want healthier food in all schools. It just makes common sense. Salad bars not only provide fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins but help boost student performance in school while also benefiting their health.”