AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This month, Whole Kids Foundation™ is launching its annual fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $3 million to provide schools nationwide with salad bars, gardens and nutrition education classes for teachers.
"With one-third of the nation's children overweight or obese, and 31.6 million children relying on lunch served through the national school lunch program each year, the opportunity to improve childhood nutrition in schools is real and immediate," said Nona Evans, executive director of Whole Kids Foundation. "By bringing more fresh fruits and vegetables to school cafeterias and supporting learning environments that connect kids to how food is grown, we can help shape healthier eating habits for our children."
From kindergarten through high school, the average child will eat 2,300 lunches . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that children eat three times more fruits and vegetables when they have regular access to salad bars at school.
On Sept. 6, Whole Foods Market will host Salad Bar Donation Day. For every purchase from a salad bar at stores nationwide, the company will donate 5 percent of the day's net sales to Whole Kids Foundation to support salad bar grants for schools across the country.
Whole Foods Market shoppers can also partake in the monthlong fundraiser by:
- Purchasing products from participating brands that give back, including Mrs. Meyers, Yellow 108, Peeled Snacks, Red Jacket Orchards and High Mowing Organic Seeds. One percent of proceeds from each sale of these brands' products at select Whole Foods Market stores will benefit the foundation.
- Making a donation at the register or online at wholekidsfoundation.org.
- Texting "SALAD" to 20222 to donate $10 to fund school salad bar grants.
Whole Kids Foundation is also launching a National Salad Bowl Design Contest in partnership with MySocialCanvas, which will run through Nov. 30. Parents and children can submit their own unique designs through wholekidsfoundation.org and the winning designer will receive free salad for a year from Whole Foods Market.
The foundation is accepting applications for school gardens grants until Oct. 31 and salad bar grants are accepted year-round. Visit wholekidsfoundation.org to apply and learn more.
 United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, "National Assistance Programs
Key Data Release (August 2010 Release)." http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns/data.htm.
 Center for Ecoliteracy, "Rethinking School Lunch," Second Edition.
SOURCE Whole Foods Market