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A Veggie Tale

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A Veggie Tale
United Fresh CEO Tom Stenzel
What started as a modest campaign by the United Fresh Produce Association Foundation to bring more salad bars to schools has now turned into a national initiative backed by the White House. United Fresh CEO Tom Stenzel tells us the foundation started its own campaign called "A Salad Bar in Every School" a year ago, hoping to create a model for other cities across the country. As it got more and more attention, the foundation started talking to Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to combat childhood obesity. After several months, United Fresh helped put together a coalition of public health organizations, associations, and government agencies, creating the cornucopia of groups that are now behind the First Lady's Let's Move Salad Bars to Schoolsinitiative.
Michelle Obama
Tom tells us that appealing to the White House was much different from lobbying on the Hill. "We didn't want to talk about the politics of this," he says. "We had to keep a line between the two things." He says it was important to demonstrate that the campaign was a serious public health initiative and not just a self-interested industry push. "You've got to maintain credibility. That's the first thing they wanted to see." Tom appeared with the first lady at an elementary school in Miami in November to promote the initiative. Their goal is to put at least 6,000 salad bars in schools over the next three years.