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Riverside Unified School District Farmers’ Market Salad Bar Program

Resources Required


Farmer's Market Salad Bar

Salad Bar Coordinator: Establish a district Salad Bar Coordinator position whose responsibilities include but are not limited to coordinating all salad bar activities, monitoring salad bars at each school, taking food orders from each school, placing food orders with farmers, and conducting salad bar trainings.

Food Service Staff per school:

  • If a salad bar is to be offered every day, it will take an employee three hours to prepare, serve, and clean up for 40 or more servings of Farmers’ Market Salad Bar.
  • Two staff members are needed to monitor the salad bar (one on each side of the salad bar) to ensure each student takes the required amount of fruits, vegetables, and protein (four ounces of fruit, four ounces of vegetables and two ounces of protein) in order for the meal to meet the requirements of a National School Lunch Program meal.

Educational components

Program educator: A Nutrition Specialist oversees, coordinates, and implements the educational components. Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) had this position before the Farmers’ Market Salad Bar program began. RUSD redefined the duties of their Nutrition Specialist beyond writing menus, doing nutrient analysis of the menu, and nutrition education. RUSD simplified the menu by moving away from the monthly menu to a five-week cycle menu, which freed more time for the Nutrition Specialist to focus on administrating and coordinating nutrition education activities throughout the district.


Farmers’ Market Salad Bar

  • Nutrition Services staff are trained in three ways: Elementary School Kitchen Operators spend six to eight hours at another school that has a salad bar to learn the system, the Salad Bar Coordinator spends three or four days teaching the staff the salad bar system, and monthly salad bar in-services are conducted by the Salad Bar Coordinator to provide ongoing training to the site managers and to update them on changes as they occur.
  • During the Taste Test day, teachers and students visit the cafeteria outside the designated lunchtime to check out the salad bar and taste a variety of fruits and vegetables for free. During this event, teachers and students learn salad bar etiquette (i.e. how to use the tongs, how much to take of each food group, etc.). In addition, students fill out surveys related to their familiarity with the offered fruits and vegetables and their preferences.


Farmers’ Market Salad Bar:

  • The cost for all salad bar equipment is $6,777 (according to 2009 prices). In the Intervention Materials section, please see page 26 of the “Farmers’ Market Salad Bar Program Guide” for the table, “Approximate cost of equipment for one salad bar setup,” which shows the price, manufacturer, and item number for each piece of equipment.

Educational/Promotional components:

  • The cost of educational materials will vary (for a description of RUSD educational components, see Implementation section). The cost of activities that occur throughout the school year (i.e. Cooking carts, farmers’ market field trips, etc.) is estimated at $615 per school.
  • RUSD estimates a cost of $500 per school to promote the salad bar (i.e. the grand opening, newsletters, advertisements, etc.)