Oviedo, Fla. (Apr. 10, 2017) – Duda Farm Fresh Foods has long believed in the power of giving back, and the 90-year-old company makes no exception this year. Through a partnership with The Produce Mom, Duda Farm Fresh Foods continues its dedication to making a long-lasting impact with schools across the country, with the hopes of giving more than 31 million students the opportunity to choose fresh produce every day.
The company’s culinary ambassador chef Todd Fisher lead hands-on culinary training sessions with Lori Taylor, CEO of The Produce Mom, to nearly 100 school foodservice professionals in Indiana. The live training focused on strategies to make fresh produce more exciting and inviting to students, with an emphasis on the national Smarter Lunchrooms Movement.
The training sessions included demonstration and sampling of five dishes from Chef Todd's USDA school meal recipe collection to promote the under-consumed vegetable sub categories: dark green, red/orange, and legume. All participants in the training received Culinary Skills Training and Smarter Lunchrooms Strategies continuing education credit, authorized by the Department of Education and USDA Team Nutrition program.
"When my business received the opportunity to create a USDA Team Nutrition curriculum for school foodservice personnel focused on promoting vegetables, I felt strongly that the leaders of the produce industry - like Duda Farm Fresh Foods - needed to be involved," said Lori Taylor. "In one week the live training sessions starring Chef Todd Fisher have impacted over 10 million annual school meals. The current audience of the forthcoming digital curriculum represents over 1 billion annual school meals across the United States.”
This one-of-a-kind training program resulted in one of the most comprehensive recipe collections of FDA-approved school meals, along with digital and video training materials that will be shared with schools across the country well beyond the 2020 program end date. The USDA Team Nutrition program also offers leading data results in fresh produce consumption amongst school-aged children, offering the fresh produce industry the tools it needs to continue to support everything from new product development to foodservice innovation to sales and marketing.
“We fundamentally believe within Duda Farm Fresh Foods that improved nutrition through healthier alternatives and choices in consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables for our society is important,” said Dan Duda, president of Duda Farm Fresh Foods. “We invest in programs and services that support school meal programs because we believe it will create a lasting impact on future generations and our industry as a whole.”
Often referred to as “the largest restaurant in town,” school districts are responsible for providing healthy meals and snacks to thousands of children each day in their respective cities. This fuels Duda Farm Fresh Foods’ passion for supporting The Produce Mom and participating in the USDA Team Nutrition program as they encourage students to make healthy choices – choices that will determine lifelong patterns and shape generations to come.