Tour de Fresh Brings More Than 50 Salad Bars to U.S. Schools
WATSONVILLE, Calif. (Aug. 1, 2016) – This year's Tour de Fresh event brought record-breaking participation from riders, sponsors, and donations to support placing more than 50 salad bars in schools across the country through the Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools program.
Welcomed by friends, family, event sponsors and industry leaders, riders finished their 3-day, 200-mile bike ride at The Wharf Marketplace in Monterey, Calif. Cindy Jewell, vice president of marketing at California Giant Berry Farms announced that, as of July 28, the event raised over $157,000 – $7,000 higher than what was raised in 2015. Since then, fundraising continues to increase and is currently at more than $160,000. In order for each rider to give a salad bar to the school that they've chosen, donations will be accepted until the original 2016 goal of $175,000 is raised.
"This was, by far, the best event we've had to-date and will set a precedence for future Tour de Fresh rides," said Jewell. "It's always such a joy to witness the passion that these industry professionals bring to the event because it produces significant results, and in the end, kids win!"
Each day of the ride concluded with the presentation of special yellow jerseys to riders nominated by their peers for inspiring others and going above and beyond – something that brought everyone together in support of each person's role in the event. Yellow jersey recipients for this year's event included: Helena Beckett of Tanimura & Antle, Jess Kolko of Whole Foods Market, Jenn LaVardera of Dole, Ty and Troy Burns of PMA, John Lukasko of Fresh Produce Partners, Brian and Greg Vetter of Tessemae's, John Feldeisen of Dole, John McCann of Delmonte, Ryan Wolcott of Stuppy, and Brandon & Amy Gritters of Interfresh.
An overwhelming sense of togetherness was felt as riders carried John Frey's photo on a stick with them throughout the event to show support while Frey was recovering from bodily injury from an accident while training just two weeks prior to the event. Brothers Brian and Greg Vetter set the celebratory tone jumping into the pool wearing all of their cycling gear after completing the ride on day 2, and bonds were formed every day as a result of mutual love for the cause.
"Most people don't realize the months and months it takes to prepare and train for a 3-day event like Tour de Fresh" said Helena Beckett, Director of Wal Mart at Tanimura & Antle and Tour de Fresh steering committee member. "But, when we're able to finally experience that time together, celebrating something as significant as putting fresh fruits and vegetables in more than 50 schools in America, it's incredibly rewarding."
Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools, led by the United Fresh Start Foundation, has facilitated donations to more than 4,650 schools across the country in the last six years, providing enough salad bars to benefit more than three million students every day. The partnership between Tour de Fresh and Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools offers the produce industry an opportunity to be directly involved in supporting its own industry for the benefit of others – something that means the world to these riders and brand supporters.
Tour de Fresh would not be possible without the support of its Premier Sponsors California Giant Berry Farms, Church Brothers Farms, DMA Solutions, Dole Fresh Vegetables, Enza Zaden, Fresh Point, J & J Family of Farms, Mission, Sunripe Certified Brands, Tanimura & Antle and Tsamma, as well as additional sponsors And Now U Know, Artic Apples, Blendtec, CHEP, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, EBX Logistics, Evolution Fresh, Hort Americas, Infinite Gold by Sakata, Interfresh, iTrade Network, Lipman, Natural Delights, Pajaro Valley Fresh, ProAct, PMA, Rehrig Pacific Company, Renaissance Food Group, Specialty Produce, SunFed, United Fresh, Watsonville Coast Produce, Western Precooling, and The Wharf Marketplace.
To donate to Tour de Fresh, please visit http://www.tourdefresh.com/riders.php.
About Tour de Fresh
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 four-day cycling event that raises funds to benefit the Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign. The inaugural event, in 2014, raised over $142,000 and placed over 40 salads bars in communities in 11 states including California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. The goal of the 2015 Tour de Fresh and its participants is to privately finance 100+ new salad bars in school districts across the country. At a cost of less than $3,000 per salad bar per school, sponsors and participants alike strongly believe that providing healthy eating opportunities for school children should be a requirement.
About Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools
Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools is a public health campaign to increase salad bars in schools across the country so that every child has the choice of healthy fruits and vegetables every day at school. Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools supports First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to end childhood obesity in a generation. Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools founding partners are: The United Fresh Start Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, the Chef Ann Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation. More information can be found online at www.saladbars2schools.org.
For Tour de Fresh photos, download at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/a3ras6un8mbz9h1/AABs3BFZuyCrRN-D_5a2xWiba?dl=0.