Dole and Homeland Stores Donate Salad Bars to Two Oklahoma City Public Schools

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Partnership looks to increase healthy food options to boost
children’s fruit and vegetable consumption at school

OKLAHOMA CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–What is the main obstacle to getting kids to eat healthier? Research
suggests that it might be simply a lack of healthy options.


As part of an initiative committed to increasing healthier options for
students, Dole
Food Company
and local grocery retailer Homeland
Stores
have partnered to donate salad bars to two public schools in
Oklahoma City. Working with the district’s nutrition services
department, these self-serve produce bars are the first to be
implemented by the district, and will feature a wide array of fresh
fruits and vegetables to boost nutritious choices for students at
breakfast and lunch.

“Since one in three children, ages 9 to 11, is at risk or already
overweight, we need to look at new ways to encourage healthier eating,”
said Bil Goldfield, Dole’s director of corporate communications. “Our
mission at Dole is to start the nutrition conversation early in
childhood, and promote fresh fruit and vegetables as healthy food
options. By providing salad bars that will enable schools to offer a
variety of produce choices each day, we are hopefully establishing
healthier eating habits that will last a lifetime.”

The two schools receiving the new salad bars include:

  • Hawthorne Elementary School (Oklahoma City)
  • Classen School of Advanced Studies (Oklahoma City)

Representatives from Dole, Homeland Stores and the United Fresh Start
Foundation presented Hawthorne
Elementary School
in Oklahoma City today with a new salad bar at a
dedication ceremony.

“Healthy eating options are key for a healthy lifestyle, and that’s
a high priority for us when it comes to feeding our kids,” said Oklahoma
City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora. “I am very appreciative
of our community partners for bringing these salad bars into our
schools, supporting all the great work that our School Nutrition
Services Department is doing to provide fresh, and great tasting food
choices for our students.”

“Homeland is thrilled to partner with Dole and the Oklahoma City Public
School District to provide two salad bars to support healthy eating
habits for the students of Oklahoma,” said Homeland Store’s CEO Marc
Jones. “Supporting healthy communities is a core value at Homeland and
we are proud of our over 100-year history in the state of Oklahoma. The
earlier our children are given healthy food choices, such as fresh
fruits and vegetables at school lunch, the earlier they will form
healthy habits and develop the strength of body and mind necessary to
take on the challenges of education and leading us in the future. As an
employee-owned company, our employee owners live in the communities that
we serve and see these two salad bars as one more step towards creating
a healthier and stronger Oklahoma for all of us!”

The salad bars were arranged through a partnership with the United
Fresh Start Foundation
to support Salad Bars to Schools, a
program which has donated salad bars to 5,000 schools over the last six
years and is benefiting 3 million children with increased access to
fresh produce. The United Fresh Start Foundation works with the produce
industry, foundations and allied businesses to support salad bars for
schools nationwide, promoting salad bars as the most effective strategy
for increasing children’s produce consumption at school.

“We are pleased to assist the largest school district in Oklahoma to
begin implementing salad bars. Kids like fresh fruits and vegetables and
when given the opportunity to make their own choices from a school salad
bar, they will select and eat more fresh produce,” said Tom Stenzel,
President and CEO, United Fresh Produce Association. “Salad bars are a
visual representation of healthy school meals, and this much-needed
equipment is often a ‘conversation starter’ amongst students, school
administrators and parents about the importance of eating more fresh
fruits and vegetables for better health.”

Salad bars are scheduled to be expanded to additional schools in the
district later this year, as well.

Current USDA nutrition standards for school lunch include a variety of
colorful fruits and vegetables each week, and salad bars provide an easy
way for schools to serve these options. Research and experience in
schools across the country demonstrate that children significantly
increase their fruit and vegetable consumption when given a variety of
choices in a school salad bar. When offered multiple fruit and vegetable
choices, children respond by incorporating greater variety and
increasing their overall consumption.

Nationwide, salad bars are changing school food environments and helping
students make the healthy choice, the easy choice.

About Dole Food Company, Inc.

Dole Food Company, Inc., is one of the world’s largest producers and
marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole is an
industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in
nutrition education and research. For more information, please visit www.dole.com.

About Homeland Stores

HAC, Inc. is a supermarket chain in the United States. Their
headquarters is in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. HAC operates under several
banners including Homeland, United Supermarkets, Country Mart in Lawton,
Oklahoma, Cash Saver Cost +, Piggly Wiggly, Food World, Beachler’s IGA,
and Super Save Stores in Texas. As of 2017, the employee owned regional
supermarket chain operates 78 supermarkets in five states; Alabama,
Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. For more information, please visit http://www.homelandstores.com/.

About The United Fresh Start Foundation

The United Fresh Start Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit
organization focused exclusively on increasing children’s access to
fresh fruits and vegetables. Affiliated with the United Fresh Produce
Association, the Foundation is committed to helping today’s kid’s
achieve the public health goal to make half their plate fruits and
vegetables in order to live longer and healthier lives. The Foundation
works to create an environment in which kids have easy access to
high-quality, great-tasting and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables,
whenever and wherever they are choosing snacks or a meal. More
information at: www.unitedfreshstart.org.

About Oklahoma City Public Schools

Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) is a multi-cultural district
serving approximately 46,000 students. OKCPS students are educated
throughout 54 neighborhood elementary schools, 16 secondary schools, 2
special centers and 15 charter schools located in a 135.5 square
miles in the center of Oklahoma. More information at: http://www.okcps.org/.

Contacts

Dole PR Agency:
Collin Whitley, 714-881-2341
or
United
Fresh Produce Association
Andrew Marshall, 202-303-3407
amarshall@unitedfresh.org