SAN DIEGO – Day two of the United Fresh Start Foundation annual meeting, here, featured educational sessions exploring how the retail and foodservice segments of the industry are working to increase fresh produce consumption.
Among the speakers were retail executives, the chef-owner of a successful diner on the East Coast and the head of food and nutrition services for California’s second-largest school district, which serves 130,000 meals each day. Also on the dais was an executive of a non-profit that works to provide children and families in Washington, DC’s most underserved neighborhoods.
Kate Olender, senior director of health and wellness for United Fresh, kicked off the educational sessions Jan. 17 during the United Fresh Start Foundation annual meeting in San Diego, CA.
Jenny Maloney, food chain sustainability manager for Bayer CropScience, addressed attendees of the educational sessions during the United Fresh Start Foundation annual meeting in San Diego, CA. Bayer was the sponsor of the program and a Gold level sponsor of the foundation.
Speaking about community partners increasing access to fresh produce for children was Alexander Justice Moore of DC Central Kitchen, which was one of more than 20 recipients of the United Fresh Start Foundation’s community grants in 2017.
Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, a researcher from Arizona State University, spoke about data that show how increased access to fruits and vegetables leads to an increase in demand.
Jeff Cady, director of produce and floral for Tops Friendly Markets, discussed the retailer’s initiatives to expose kids to fresh produce, including a program that provides a free piece of fruit to children who accompany their parents as they shop.
Mike Orf, group vice president for produce procurement at Hy-Vee, discussed how engaging with the community and connecting with children leads to increased produce consumption, with a goal to have people live healthier lives.
Kate Olender, senior director of health and wellness for United Fresh, led a question-and-answer session with panelists Mike Orf of Hy-Vee, Punam Ohri-Vachaspati of Arizona State University and Jeff Cady of Tops Friendly Markets.
Andrew Marshall, director of foundation programs and partnerships for United Fresh, led an educational session related to foodservice and how it can help increase fresh produce consumption.
Chef Ype Vonn Hengst, co-founder and executive chef of Silver Diner in Rockville, MD, gave insights to educational session attendees about how his restaurants successfully incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables on its kids menus, leading to increased consumption and a healthy bottom line.
Gary Petill, director of food and nutrition services for the San Diego Unified School District, spoke about his responsibility of providing 130,000 meals each day to school-aged children and how the push to provide more salad bars has resulted in increased consumption of produce and a foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
Andrew Marshall, director of foundation programs and partnerships for United Fresh, led a question-and-answer session with foodservice panelists Chef Ype Vonn Hengst of Silver Diner and Gary Petill of the San Diego Unified School District.
Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk, chief executive officer of Seald Sweet International/Greenyard USA, asked a question of the retail panel about what the produce industry can do to help advance the effort to further promote fresh fruit and vegetable consumption.