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SEPC dedicates salad bars to Jenkins County schools

The Southeast Produce Council, along with representatives of the United Fresh Produce Association and the Jenkins County School System, held a dedication ceremony celebrating the installation of fresh salad bars on Monday, March 5.

The recently donated salad bars were provided through the Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which has helped to provide salad bars to over 5,000 schools benefiting 3 million children. Tour de Fresh is a leading supporter of this national movement, working closely with the United Fresh Start Foundation to provide salad bars to schools as a strategy for increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables every day at school. SEPC-Raina-Nelson-Tour-de-FRaina Nelson

Tour de Fresh, presented by The California Giant Foundation, is the first-of-its-kind, collaborative event that unites the most significant brands and influencers in the fresh produce industry for a three-day cycling event that raises funds to benefit the national Salad Bars to Schools initiative. The goal of the Tour de Fresh and its participants is to privately finance new salad bars in school districts across the country. At a cost of approximately $3,000 per salad bar per school, this is a small investment that makes a big impact.

The Southeast Produce Council, whose home office is located in Millen, has been a supporter of Tour de Fresh since its inception in 2014. This past year, one of the SEPC’s board members, Raina Nelson of Renaissance Food Group, represented the organization by participating in the Tour de Fresh to provide salad bars for the Jenkins County School System.

“As homegrown residents of Jenkins County and avid supporters of charitable organizations who promote the health and well-being of children, we wanted to bring some of that support back to the town in which we serve," said David Sherrod, president and chief executive officer of the Southeast Produce Council. "The Southeast Produce Council felt that providing these salad bars to the Jenkins County School System was a wonderful opportunity to do just that.”

SEPC thanked Nelson and John Toner of the United Fresh Produce Association for their promotion and diligence in striving to support the Salad Bars to Schools initiative as well as the Jenkins County School System for their warm reception of this valuable addition to their lunch program.