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Salad Bars Brightening Up School Lunches in Michigan

After an almost two year hiatus due to COVID-19, Salad Bars to Schools (SB2S) is back in action supporting schools in their efforts to serve more fresh fruits and vegetables. Thanks to donations from United Fresh Start Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, 23 salad bars were recently granted to Michigan schools through SB2S. We gathered feedback from these district’s Food Service Directors to learn about their plans for how to utilize their new salad bars!

It might be cold and gray outside, but school lunches in Michigan are getting more colorful this winter! Thanks to donations from United Fresh Start Foundation (UFSF) and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBS MI), 23 salad bars were recently granted to Michigan schools through Salad Bars to Schools (SB2S). After an almost two year hiatus due to COVID-19, SB2S is back in action supporting schools in their efforts to serve more fresh fruits and vegetables. School food has faced some extreme challenges over the past two years so we are excited to resume the granting of salad bars to support districts throughout the nation.

Since 2010, SB2S has supported the granting of 428 bars to MI schools with 115 funded by the UFSF and BCBS MI partnership. We couldn’t be more grateful for our shared values around child nutrition and ongoing support from our friends at UFF and BCBS MI in providing more healthy choices to over 214,000 students in MI.

Hear from each district’s Food Service Director(FSD) about their excitement around their new salad bars and what they have planned:

Beecher Community School District- Flint, FSD Eric Hindbaugh

We will implement the salad bars in the high school and Dailey Elementary to add to the well being of the students, and so they can enjoy the benefits of more fresh fruits and vegetables. The students already enjoy our pre-made salads and the addition of the salad bar will be a great addition to those. The elementary students show a great interest in adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to their diet as well. We currently have in place product selections that make for a successful salad bar presentation by adding colors and fruit and vegetable selections that appeal to the student body.

The following schools received salad bars:

  • Beecher High School
  • Dailey Elementary

Comstock Park Public Schools-Comstock Park, FSD Melissa Alley

We love having them. It is great to be able to offer a bigger variety of fruits and veggies to our elementary students. Salad bars may seem like more work when it comes to cleaning but they help decrease food waste and give our students an opportunity to enjoy a variety of produce. We will be offering fresh fruit and veggies districtwide at all buildings. Students will be allowed to take as much as they will eat to fill up on the healthy choices instead of junk food. The fruit and veggie bars will be incorporated within our serving lines so all students will have access to visit the fruit and veggie bar. We will go over proper procedures for cleaning, sanitizing, temping our fruit & veggie bar and food items. We will provide standardized recipes and a section on our menus dedicated to our new bars. We will provide more fresh fruits and veggies as well. I will send out information through our panther press, emails to administration and teaching staff sharing our new additions to our schools. I will do chef tables and taste testings for students to enjoy. I also do a monthly Food Service Newsletter that I will share with staff, students, and parents.

The following schools received salad bars:

  • ​​Comstock Park High School
  • Pine Island Elementary

Fitzgerald Public Schools- Warren, FSD Holly Clay

Our district has been looking for ways to increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption districtwide, and are hoping to increase student awareness and participation in eating new and different fruits and vegetables. After visiting other districts and speaking with other food service directors, we have a plan of creating a fun and engaging salad bar for our students! We will also be using the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program to bring in different kinds of fruits and vegetables, ones that our students have not been exposed to. We are also looking into beginning an urban garden and gardening club at our high school, to teach kids about how vegetables grow. We are hoping those items can be used in an after school cooking club! Our district has many ideas that we are implementing to teach our kids about eating healthy and consuming good fruits and vegetables. We have overwhelming support from administration and are very excited to use these new salad bars to bring new experiences to our district!

The following schools received salad bars:

  • Schofield Elementary
  • Westview Elementary
  • Fitzgerald High School

Ionia Public Schools – Ionia, FSD Jack Nye

In Ionia Public Schools the goal is to get more fruits and vegetables not only onto kids’ trays but into their stomachs. With the help of some timely snow days, the salad bars are all assembled and ready for distribution. My initial rollout for elementary buildings this year is to have multiple options available daily. I plan this year to utilize the salad bars as additional items available once a reimbursable meal has already been confirmed. My thoughts are that this will help keep the support at the building level because the kids will be using it to discover without being pressured to move along. We can offer many different, unique options on our salad bars.

The following schools received salad bars:

  • Douglas Welch High School
  • Ionia Middle School
  • Ionia High School,
  • Twin Rivers Elementary School
  • AA Rather Elementary School
  • RB Boyce Elementary School
  • Jefferson Elementary School
  • Emerson Elementary School

Roscommon Area Public Schools- Roscommon, FSD Val Larange

These bars will make a more appealing appearance for our fresh fruits and vegetables, so student intake will INCREASE.

The following school received a salad bar:

  • Roscommon Elementary School

South Lake Schools-St. Clair Shores, FSD Carrie Hall

South Lake Schools implemented salad bars in their lunchrooms about 9+ years ago. During this time, the students have loved the self-serve option of getting to place their own items on their tray. Salad bars have also helped in lowering staff prep time for all lunchrooms within South Lake Schools. We are extremely excited to implement these salad bars to our schools. This is a great opportunity to promote healthier eating habits by offering a variety of fruits and veggies to our students every day.

The following schools received salad bars:

  • Avalon Elementary
  • Elmwood Elementary
  • Koepsell Elementary
  • South Lake Middle School

SB2S is excited to support these districts in their efforts as they continue to do the crucial work of feeding children! Learn more about how to Get a Salad Bar for your school!


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