The fresh produce industry will be “giving back” to the local community when the United Fresh Produce Association hosts it 107th annual convention in New Orleans, May 2-4. Through the generosity of member companies and friends, the United Fresh Foundation will donate salad bars to 33 New Orleans schools, creating a lasting impact on thousands of school children in its convention host city.

“I’m pleased to say that we’ve topped our goal to raise funds for 25 salad bars and will be able to provide a salad bar to every New Orleans school that requested one,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel.

The Foundation will commemorate the donation with a May 3 “Let’s Move Salad Bars to New Orleans Schools” press event bringing together local dignitaries and officials to recognize the 33 recipient schools and each donor company. The salad bar donations are made possible through the generous sponsorship of many companies.

The May donation of salad bars is in addition to 10 salad bars that the United Fresh Foundation donated in the fall of 2010 from funds raised at its annual Washington Public Policy Conference. United Fresh also recognizes Whole Foods Markets, which has donated salad bars to six New Orleans schools this year as part of its nationwide campaign in support of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools.

United Fresh is a founding partner of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which has a goal of donating salad bars to 6,000 schools nationwide within the next three years. Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation.

“We hope that schools throughout the region and nationwide will now look at New Orleans as a model to see how salad bars can transform the school food experience. Schools can work directly with the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, raising funds for salad bars within their own communities through government support, local businesses, PTAs and more. It’s easy for schools to post an application on, and raise the necessary awareness and funds to make a difference for their kids,” said Stenzel.