Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE) announced today it is donating fifteen salad bars over the next three years in North Carolina, California and the Washington, D.C. areas. Dole is launching this initiative in partnership with the United Fresh Produce Association as part of their “ Salad Bar In Every School” campaign. Dole has placed the first two salad bars in the Kannapolis, North Carolina area. The schools receiving the bars – Woodrow Wilson Elementary School and Jackson Park Elementary School – will also receive free children’s materials such as Superfood posters and bookmarks, the popular Dole 5-A-Day Kids Cookbook and the new Dole SuperKids Activity Book. Dole has been a leader in children’s nutrition education for nearly twenty years, starting with the award-winning 5-A-Day initiative and continuing with the Dole SuperKids program. The company’s message has reached over 145,000 teachers, 48,000 schools and millions of kids and their families. These efforts are spearheaded by the Dole Nutrition Institute which promotes the benefits of a fruit and vegetable-based diet through vehicles such as an award-winning e-newsletter (2.5 million circulation), brochures, cookbooks, videos and the newly published Dole Nutrition Handbook. “Dole fosters healthy eating habits in children today to help them become the healthy adults of tomorrow,” said Ben Sussman, Senior Manager of Marketing for the Dole Nutrition Institute. “These salad bars serve as a natural extension to our existing commitment to kids’ nutrition.” The United Fresh Foundation’s campaign is based on the personal involvement and charitable commitment of produce industry and nutrition education leaders such as Dole 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. These demonstration projects will then assist school nutrition professionals, principals and teachers, parent groups and community supporters in working with local, state and federal government officials to bring salad bars to all schools.
Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.