Washington D.C. and Newark, De. – International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) has shared that the Foodservice Conference in Monterey will include a focus on building a preference for produce with next generation consumers – children.
The IFPA Foodservice Conference will feature a new buyer segment this year with K-12 menu planners from some of the nation’s largest school districts scheduled to be in attendance. This audience, representing school district menu planners, chefs and procurement professionals, will participate in the Foodservice Conference, as part of the K-12 School Forum, which includes special programming to connect school participants with the produce industry and help them explore new products and better understand the fresh produce supply chain.
“Every school day, nearly 31 million children participate in the National School Lunch Program, with individual school districts serving meals to thousands, and sometimes tens-of-thousands of children each day,” said Andrew Marshall, IFPA’s staff liaison for wholesaler-distributor members, and lead staffer on engagement with the K-12 school nutrition community. “We look forward to welcoming this important community of buyers and creating opportunities for them to connect, share and learn about the industry, while getting ideas about new ways to introduce and excite students with fresh produce.”
Another program that is dedicated to providing not only fresh produce but nutrition education to children and their families is Brighter Bites. The organization will be celebrating their 10th birthday this year and will be hosting a virtual wine auction to fundraise for the Brighter Bites program.
Since their founding in 2012, the program has distributed over 50 million pounds of produce and millions of nutrition education materials to more than half a million individuals. The program was the center of a 2 year study out of the UTHealth School of Public Health which evaluated the efficacy of the program. Data showed that not only did families report increased consumption of fresh produce during the program, but also sustained these habits over time.
“Brighter Bites recognizes that creating healthy eating habits is more than just solving access to healthy foods,” said Brighter Bites CEO, Rich Dachman. “It’s critical to also create an opportunity for children and families to learn about nutrition and the benefits of produce while also learning how to prepare and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. We are proud to be a part of this year’s Foodservice Conference where we will host the Brighter Bites Wine for a Cause virtual wine auction. All proceeds will provide us with the resources to impact more families across the country.”
The wine auction will go live on July 27 at 8:00am PST, and interested participants can register now and view the inventory of over 60 items ranging from single bottles to cases of wine to private tours and tastings. Bidding will close on July 30th at 12:00pm PST. Participants do not need to be registered for Foodservice Conference to participate. If anyone has any additional questions they can reach out to Christina Blick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foodservice Conference registration is still open. Those interested in register can do so on the event website: https://www.freshproduce.com/events/the-foodservice-conference/