Chiquita Backs Salad Bar Campaign, FLOTUS Childhood Obesity Initiative

Chiquita Brands International, Inc. is throwing support behind the United Fresh Produce Association Foundation’s “A Salad Bar in Every School” campaign, via a multi-year financial and public health commitment with its eponymous and Fresh Express subsidiaries.

As one of the first produce companies to commit to the important campaign, Cincinnati-based Chiquita is taking a leading role in supporting the Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Act of 2009 (H.R. 4333), which calls for a national salad bar policy for schools, as well as better access to fruits and vegetables, which will be required to enable schools to meet the dietary guidelines.

United’s launch of the “Salad Bar in Every School” campaign comes in conjunction with the Obama Administration’s bipartisan childhood obesity initiative, “Let's Move.” The enhanced spotlight provided by First Lady Michelle Obama’s national campaign provides a unique and timely opportunity to promote school salad bars throughout the country, and for Congress to pass the Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Act of 2009.

“We are committed to promoting better childhood nutrition and wellness [through] this campaign,” said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and CEO of Chiquita. “We can’t think of a better way to support this effort than by providing improved access to fruits and vegetables with school salad bars. We have already been an active partner in this campaign, and we call on our industry colleagues to join this important effort.

Aguirre further applauded the First Lady’s child nutrition initiative, and pledged Chiquita’s intent to further promote it with congressional representatives.

The United Fresh Foundation’s Salad Bar in Every School campaign is based on the personal involvement and charitable commitment of produce growers, distributors and marketers in raising private funds to donate salad bars to schools in cities and counties across the country to serve as demonstration models for increasing children’s fresh fruit and vegetable consumption. The model projects will then assist school nutrition professionals, principals and teachers, parents groups, and community supporters in working with local, state and federal government officials to bring salad bars to all schools.

Tom Stenzel, United Fresh’s president and CEO, said that the Washington-based trade group was “delighted to have Chiquita and Fresh Express as early partners in this important initiative for our nation’s children.” Stenzel further commended the companies’ thought leadership, active support and campaign funding.
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