First Lady's Healthy Eating Campaign Hits Home

In September we got word that a local Hudson Valley grocery store—Price Chopper—was part of a national effort to help battle childhood obesity by providing healthier meal options to students. Turbana (major banana importer and fair trade leaders) picked the Newburgh School District and a New Hampshire school district as beneficiaries of the salad bars. 5,583 students in four schools including NFA main and Vails Gate Elementary will be affected by the gift. 

Vails Gate Elementary School opened their doors to us on Wednesday October 9th to meet some super-excited 5th graders who got to be first in line for the healthy lunches.  Several students spoke on behalf of their classmates in thanking Price Chopper representatives, Superintendent Pizzo and a representative from United Fresh sharing the messages of thanks for the gift of healthy eating. 

"Since there is a salad bar it makes me feel happy," said Angela Mera. "Because now everyone can be healthy...and pick what they want. They have carrots, beans, watermelon, strawberries and more. Thank you for taking care of our nutrition."

Turbana and Price Chopper are working with the United Fresh Produce Association Foundation to donate the salad bars as part of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative. The first lady's national program to end childhood obesity is a public health campaign meant to bring awareness to the importance of beginning healthy eating at a young age. High cholesterol, Type II Diabetes, and obesity have been linked to poor nutrition in recent years. Studies have also found that children who eat nutritious lunches do better on tests and also have better attendance. Let's Move has enabled the placement of 2,700 salad bars nationally. 

So, how did Newburgh get so lucky? Anthony Grice—formerly a teacher in the district— is now on special assignment as grant writer. His efforts helped secure the gift and bring it in to Newburgh Schools. He picked Vails Gate and NFA Main as choice destinations for the salad bars which require a certain amount of space and supervision. 

Anthony Grice (far right) and other major contributors to the salad bar.

 “These salad bar donations couldn’t come at a better time,” said Andrew Calvano, Food Service Director, for the Newburgh Enlarged City School District.  “We have an active Wellness Committee that has a goal to place a salad bar in every school, and we’ve already successfully implemented a salad bar at one of our middle schools.  This contribution from Turbana and Price Chopper will enable us to expand our salad bar program, supporting our mission to provide healthy choices and educate students on the importance of healthy eating.”

With the schools’ agreement to keep the salad bars stocked daily with fresh fruits and vegetables, Turbana and Price Chopper hope to curtail childhood obesity in Price Chopper’s neighborhoods by giving children a variety of healthy, fresh produce options to choose from. 


Schools interested in requesting salad bars can apply


Awesome photos: provided

Cover photo: Andrew and Alfredo 5th graders at Vails Gate Elementary