Desert Heights Charter students choosing salad bar over hot meals

GLENDALE, AZ - Desert Heights Charter School, in Glendale, is offering students a salad bar meal as an option this year.

Students can now use lunch tickets, including free and reduced lunch vouchers, to purchase a salad bar meal.  Last year, the salad bar was available as a side option to traditional hot meals, Cynthia Jordan, Food Service Director, said.

Jordan says the school is making a push to promote healthier food options and the salad bar has been extremely successful. 

"Sixty-eight percent of all food served during lunchtime is from our salad bar," she said.

Roughly 34-percent of students at Desert Heights Schools qualify for free or reduced lunch, Jordan said. There are roughly 700 students at two campuses within the district.

"(The salad bar) increases awareness and food choices they may not have at home," Jordan said.

In addition to having a salad bar, Jordan says students will also maintain a vegetable garden that the school built last year.  "They actually incorporate growing, learning how to grow, learning how to harvest," she said.

The next goal is to get a full service salad bar at the other campus. The charter school is participating in a national campaign called 'Let's Move! Salad Bars 2 Schools'. So far, Jordan says they have raised about half of the $2,500 monetary goal.  Parents and students donated most of the money. The school plans to hold fundraising events in September.

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