Tour de Fresh benefits the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign. Photo courtesy of Tour de Fresh.

Oct. 19, 2016

Some DFW sponsors have parterned with a California-based nonprofit to put more salad bars in Fort Worth schools through the first Tour de Fresh event to be held in Texas.

According to spokesperson Beth Atkinson, Tour de Fresh launched in California in 2014 by the California Giant Foundation, benefits Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, a public health campaign founded by the Chef Ann Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, United Fresh Start Foundation and Whole Foods Market in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. The initiative’s goal is to provide a salad bar in every U.S. public school thus enabling children to have daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins.

In three years, the Tour de Fresh campaign in partnership with United Fresh Start Foundation has raised just under $500,000 for the installation of 130 salad bars in schools in 24 states and the District of Columbia. 

Now, with support from a Dallas-based restaurant chain and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, the charity is poised to install up to five salad bars in Fort Worth ISD, at a cost of $3,100 per salad bar.

“Many schools have the funds to stock a salad bar with fresh produce, but do not have the necessary equipment to offer a salad bar,” Atkinson said. “Tour de Fresh organizes cycling events to raise money to purchase salad bar equipment, which the school districts are then responsible for keeping stocked for students.”  

Atkinson said they decided to bring the program to Fort Worth because of Mayor Prices’s local goal to make Fort Worth one of the healthiest communities in the nation. Mayor Price spearheads FitWorth, a local movement that encourages a healthy and active lifestyle through school and work programs, fitness events, and much more.

The mayor agreed that it furthers a cause she already feels passionate about; encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle.

“Our goal, much like Tour de Fresh, is to cultivate healthy habits at a young age,” said Price. “I’m proud of Fort Worth’s efforts to encourage cities across the U.S. to make health a priority. I’m passionate about increasing health and wellness because of its far-reaching implications, impacting everything from life expectancy, healthcare costs and worker productivity.”

Snappy Salads founder Chris DahlanderInitially a Tour de Fresh bike ride was planned earlier in the month but organizers decided to merge the event with Mayor Betsy Price’s Spooky Bike and Ball Party on Oct. 27 at Trinity Park in Fort Worth. It is here that Tour de Fresh will present a check from fresh produce industry and local sponsors, along with donations from the community to be used for the building of the salad bars. 

Chris Dahlander, founder of Snappy Salads is one of the local sponsors of the Tour de Fresh fundraiser. Photo courtesy of Snappy Salads.

Tour de Fresh Texas sponsors include California Giant Berry Farms, Hort Americas, Tessemae’s, Del Monte, IFCO, Tsamma and Birko. 

Local sponsors include DMA Solutions and Snappy Salads, the Dallas-based eco-conscious restaurant chain and one of the finalists in the upcoming Green Source DFW Sustainable Leadership Awards on Nov. 3.

Atkinson said Snappy Salads saw a newspaper article about the Tour de Fresh in 2015 and approached them to see if there were opportunities to partner.

“The fact that our first local event was planned for DFW was a perfect way to partner with Snappy because of their commitment to providing healthy, fresh alternatives to families in North Texas,” she said. 

Chris Dahlander, founder and CEO of Snappy Salads, agreed it was a perfit fit. 

“This is a perfect way for us to demonstrate our commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle. It fires me up to know that we are making a positive impact on our community – a positive impact on the future of our children.”

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