/PRNewswire/ -- With an ambitious vision to place a healthy salad bar in every public school in America, Chef Ann Cooper's Food, Family, Farming Foundation (F3) and America's leading natural and organic foods supermarket, Whole Foods Market®, announced today that the Great American Salad Bar Project's grant application is now open for schools to apply for a free salad bar kit. The window to apply for the grant at www.saladbarproject.org is Sept. 1 through Nov. 1, 2010. Applicants must participate in the National School Lunch Program and demonstrate a commitment to sustaining a healthy cafeteria salad bar. This project is an initiative of TheLunchBox.org which provides tangible solutions for making healthier, fresh and made-from-scratch food available to schoolchildren across the country.
F3 is the granting institution and will collect and approve school applications. Schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program and are within a 50-mile radius of any Whole Foods Market are eligible to apply. Parents and advocates dedicated to improving school lunches can encourage their local schools to apply for the grant online at www.saladbarproject.org.
"The No. 1 one thing a school can do to improve its food is to add a healthy salad bar and allow children to make their own healthy choices," said Cooper, "Renegade Lunch Lady", director of nutrition services at the Boulder Valley School District and founder of the F3 Foundation and TheLunchBox.org. "Kids have the right to a wholesome, delicious meal which includes access to fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins, every school day."
To fund the short-term goal of donating 300 salad bars to public schools in the communities Whole Foods Market serves, its shoppers have already donated $679,093 only three weeks into the campaign. The funds to date equate to 271 salad bars. Shoppers may continue to donate until Sept. 29 at all stores or may donate online at www.saladbarproject.org. Schools selected by F3 for free salad bar kits will be announced by Jan. 15, 2011 and salad bar kits will be shipped to schools within a month.
"It is so invigorating to see our shoppers are as passionate as we are about making healthier, fresh food available to school children in one of the most tangible ways. We are so appreciative they have embraced this fundraiser and that children in our communities will soon benefit from their generosity," said Marci Frumkin, executive marketing director for Whole Foods Market. "We have already raised 90 percent of our fundraising goal of $750,000 and we invite everyone to help spread the word to school administrators about the simple grant application at saladbarproject.org."
Each school that is chosen will receive a portable, five-well Cambro® salad bar complete with utensils, pan inserts, chilling pads and training tools. TheLunchBox.org will provide the necessary training tools and ongoing support to help ensure proper management. Each applying school will need to obtain approval from its district superintendent, school principal and nutrition services director and commit to use the salad bar as part of the lunch program for two school years.
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.
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