Salad bars provide healthy option in school cafeterias

Mar 18, 2016

Some Buffalo Public school students will now have a healthier option in their cafeteria. WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley says four city schools are receiving salad bars thanks to Tops Markets and United Fresh Start Foundation.  

Students at School 81, Tacoma Avenue in north Buffalo, line up at their new salad bar.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

One of the salad bars was unveiled at School #81 located at Tacoma Avenue in north Buffalo. Students gathered in their cafeteria to help cut the ribbon. Tops director of Produce Jeff Cady said they’re working with venders to provide a variety of leafy greens, fresh fruits and vegetables for students.

School 81 students gather in their cafeteria to check out their new salad bar.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“And we’ve got Fresh Express salads. I’ve got Giorgio Mushrooms, Marie’s Salad Dressings, fresh gourmet salad toppings,” said Cady. “When I went out to the vender community they saw this just as a fantastic opportunity to support a cause well worth it.”

Other schools to receive the salad bars in their cafeterias include West Hertel Academy, Bilingual Center and Public School #18.  

The United Fresh Start Foundation is a founding partner of the national "Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools" initiative. Several other city schools already have salad bars under different programs.

North District School Board member Jay McCarthy said it is the district's hope to have them at all city schools someday.

North District School Board member Jay McCarthy is working to promote healthy eating in city schools.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“When we set out on this mission as a board, three years ago, our intention was to create a healthier child,” explained McCarthy. “We expect to see more of these salad bars coming in the building.”

School #81 students loaded up on the healthy salad and fruit items. Third graders Jules and Eva enjoyed the new options. 

School 81 third graders talk about their salad selections with WBFO News.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“What do you like about eating healthy?” asked Buckley. “Because they have all the favorite things in the salads that I like,” said Jules. 

“It’s good that the salad bar is here because when we have like tatter tots, it’s good for kids to have a salad too get healthy,” noted Eva.  

Third grader Trayvon loaded his plate with greens and veggies, delighted with the chance to taste all the produce.  

School 81 third grader shows WBFO his salad selections.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“I’ve got some peppers and strawberries and cauliflower and beans,” said Trayvon. “My favorite part about it is it makes people strong and healthy.”

The goal is to promote healthy eating habits at a young age to last a life time.