Mayor Bloomberg helped open a brand new—and eagerly anticipated—Whole Foods on East 57th Street between Second and Third Avenues. Even though there was a glut of delicious-looking bread products tempting city officials (buff Health Commissioner Thomas Farley will just burn it off during his runs), the big news was that Whole Foods would be donating 57 salad bars to NYC public schools across the city. Bloomberg said, "Giving every student access to healthy fruit and vegetables is the next step in countering the obesity epidemic and getting kids started on a healthy habit for life. Kids love salad bars in schools—I keep hearing that they are often the first choice for lunch—and this donation from Whole Foods will help bring this delicious and healthy option to more kids."
The salad bars, which are valued at more than $300,000, come from the Austin-based food retailer's Whole Kids Foundation. Notably, the new East 57th Street store is located in a building that will house High School for Art and Design and P.S. 59. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said, "We provide students with healthy and delicious school meals that are low in fat, sodium and calories and thanks to Whole Foods we can add to our inventory of salad bars. Currently, we have more than 1,000 salad bars in our schools and the new donation will ensure that more students will have more options. We have been at the forefront of providing healthy meals. Since 2004, we have replaced whole milk with low-fat milk, white bread with whole wheat and this year we are introducing organic yogurt."
And Bloomberg touted, "Thanks to our pioneering initiatives, New York City has recently defied the national trend and seen an unprecedented decline in childhood obesity."
The Whole Foods is located at 226 East 57th Street—tonight, there's a beer tasting!