Real Food for Kids is pleased to announce that after a three-year hiatus, salad bars are returning to Fairfax County elementary schools. “These reopenings prioritize school communities that face nutrition insecurity on a daily basis,” says Real Food for Kids Executive Director Bonnie Moore. “For many of our children, the salad bars provide access to critical nutrition — fresh, whole fruits and vegetables as well as protein sources. This is a huge step in helping our students show up well nourished and ready to learn.”
FCPS’s Office of Food and Nutrition Services first partnered with Real Food for Kids in 2016-2017 to bring salad bars to all of its 141 elementary schools, with a goal of phasing in a substantial number of them each year.
FCPS School Board Member Stella Pekarsky says “I am thrilled that salad bars will begin to return to elementary schools starting February 1st! Children eat more fruits and vegetables when they have a variety of choices, such as those provided in a self-serve salad bar. Helping children develop good eating habits early in life helps maximize academic performance during the school years and promotes wellness throughout their lives. I am committed to working with FCPS Food & Nutrition Services to ensure all students have access to freshly prepared, appealing, nutritious, locally sourced, and culturally-inclusive meals that nourish their minds and physical wellbeing. I have proposed that the School Board create a comprehensive School Food and Nutrition Policy that will provide guidelines for the school division to help meet this vision. Stay tuned for updates on when that will be scheduled as a School Board Forum topic for discussion in the upcoming months.”
The county-wide list of 36 Title I schools set to reopen salad bars by January 31 includes Forest Edge, Sleepy Hollow, and Woodburn. See the full list of January salad bar reopenings. Volunteers are needed at many of these schools to support food services staff at these openings. To volunteer please visit the Real Food for Kids Salad Bar SignUp.