WATSONVILLE, Calif., Aug. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- This year's Tour de Fresh event, presented by The California Giant Foundation, continued the tradition of breaking records and reaching its goal to support salad bar donations through the Salad Bars to Schools program. Through a collaborative effort from riders, friends and family members, and the fresh produce industry leaders, more than 50 salad bars will be placed in schools around the country granting thousands of students access to fresh fruits and vegetables daily.
Novice and elite riders trekked 192 miles of Northern California hilly terrain for a three-day span to commemorate the values of Tour de Fresh – coming together as one team to support an endearing cause. This year presented many uphill battles, but reaching the goal of gifting more than 50 salad bars was not one of them.
"With Mother Nature taking a toll on the initial ride route, we started off this season a little rocky, but remained optimistic and kept our eyes on the ultimate prize – fundraising enough money to get salad bars into schools around the country," said Cindy Jewell, vice president of marketing for The California Giant Foundation. "I could not be more proud of the industry members, family and friends who came together to support our cause and enabled us to reach our goals."
This year's ride included new riders, routes and technology which amplified the experience altogether. Olympic cyclists Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Axel Merckx partook in the ride to add a dose of encouragement and mentorship throughout the three days. In addition, riders geared up with tracking devices donated by Locus Traxx/Emerson which provided real-time updates on the riders' journey for family members and friends.
"It's always a pleasure to see the industry come together and rally behind a cause that affects the greater good," said Tom Stenzel, CEO and president of the United Fresh Produce Association. "With each year building off of the success from years past, I know this is a legacy we can continue to support."
Salad Bars to Schools, led by the United Fresh Start Foundation, has facilitated donations to fund more than 5,000 salad bars across the country in the last seven years to benefit more than two million students. In alignment with the Salad Bars to Schools mission, Tour de Fresh has raised nearly $500,000 to fund more than 150 salad bars to date.
Tour de Fresh would not be possible without the support of its Premier Sponsors California Giant Berry Farms, Crunch Pak, Enza Zaden, JAZZ Apples, Mission Produce, Sakata, Tanimura & Antle, Tsamma, and event sponsors Americold, And Now U Know, Arctic Apples, Baja Son, CHEP, Church Brothers, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Coosemans Worldwide, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Emerson/Locus Traxx Worldwide, EBX Logistics, Fresh Point, Fresh Produce Partners, Fruit Growers Supply, Growers Express/Green Giant, Interfresh, Lipman, Ocean Mist Farms, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Pajaro Valley Fresh, PMA, Pro*Act, Rherig Pacific Company, Renaissance Food Group, Specialty Produce, Taylor Farms, Tessemae's, Total Quality Logistics, Watsonville Coast Produce, Western Precooling, and Zespri.
Tour de Fresh will be accepting donations through August 31. To donate, please visit http://www.tourdefresh.com/riders.php. For more information about Tour de Fresh, including opportunities to sponsor or ride in next year's Tour de Fresh, please contact [email protected].