Survey Says…Salad Bar! <br>at Neshaminy Middle School

August 31, 2008  • 

Our friends at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation have shared this Success Story from one of the schools participating in their Healthy Schools program:

For the past four years, Neshaminy Middle School in Langhorne, PA has been working on both the state and national level to encourage students and staff to eat healthier and add a few more steps to their daily routine. Their messages resonated with Mark Stanford, a student health ambassador who, while eating lunch in the cafeteria, noticed that the majority of kids came out of the lunch line with pizza, fries, cakes and cookies. He watched his friends for the rest of the week and noted that they bought the same unhealthy items everyday.

Mark decided that something needed to be done to change attitudes and knowledge on healthy eating. He and the other health ambassadors decided to meet with the principal, Ms. Wychock, and Mrs. Wyatt, food and consumer science teacher, to discuss the possibility of introducing a salad bar. They started by surveying more than 600 students and staff to get their thoughts. Of those surveyed, 76 percent stated that they would buy a salad in the cafeteria if the school had a salad bar. Armed with this supportive data, the students wrote an action plan that included meeting with the food services director to discuss their ideas. Students also designed a PR campaign that included infomercials on the morning announcements, posters and vegetable costumes.

Students wasted no time in lining up for something fresh and crisp when the school’s first salad bar opened. Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, peppers and lettuce awaited hungry students. Throughout the school there were constant reminders to eat fruits and vegetables, including students who donned costumes as apples, grapes, peas, tomatoes and carrots while parading through the lunchroom. Helium-filled “veggie” balloons adorned the lunchroom tables, and Principal Wychock even wore a green wig and hat made of fruits and vegetables to show her support!

Visit the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools program website to see more Success Stories.