Eat Fresh RPS is an exciting new initiative to dramatically increase the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed by Richmond students. During the 2015-16 academic year, salad bars will be installed in 20 schools, cafeteria staff will be trained by local chefs on how to better prepare and serve fresh ingredients, and students will be engaged and enticed through taste tests and nutrition education.

This exciting initiative is made possible by the leadership of RPS School Nutrition Services, who is partnering Fit4Kids, the Richmond City Health District, the Healthy Lifestyles Center at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and Trista Grigsby, a local farm to school consultant.

“Many of our families live in food deserts and don’t have regular access to grocery stores with healthy fruits and vegetables,” said Susan Roberson, Director of School Nutrition Services for RPS. “Through Eat Fresh RPS, we have the opportunity to provide thousands of students with healthy fruits and vegetables through the garden patch salad bars.”IMG_0446

On May 13th, Eat Fresh RPS was awarded a $100,000 grant from Impact 100. Impact 100 Richmond, a partnership with The Community Foundation, is a women’s collective fundraising initiative, dedicated to providing at least one annual $100,000 grant that would transform the services and programs of a nonprofit organization in the Greater Richmond community. This year, Greater Richmond Fit4Kids was awarded the $100,000 grant to benefit the Eat Fresh RPS collaboration.

“This Impact 100 grant is truly transformational for Eat Fresh RPS and for Fit4Kids,” said Mary Dunne Stewart, Fit4Kids Executive Director. “But more importantly, this project will be transformational for the more than 10,000 Richmond public school students. This grant will fund installation of 20 garden patch salad bars at Richmond schools, nutrition education in the cafeteria, and a ‘chefs move to school’ program where local chefs will train cafeteria managers on how to prepare, serve, and season fresh vegetables.”