Tour de Fresh sets record with $175,000 for salad bars
ANAHEIM, Calif. — In the words of Cindy Jewell, the 2019 Tour de Fresh riders and sponsors “blew it out of the park.”
Jewell, vice president of marketing for California Giant Berry Farms, spoke at the conclusion of the event Oct. 16 at the Anaheim Convention Center, site of the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit, Oct. 17-19.
Raising about $175,000 for salad bars, more than 40 Tour de Fresh cyclists finished the 300-mile trek, which started in Carmel, Calif., on Oct 12.
Last year, the event raised about $150,000.
Tour de Fresh, organized by the California Giant Foundation, raises money for the United Fresh Start Foundation’s salad bar donation program, with the goal of giving students access to fresh produce.
Tour de Fresh rider Raina Nelson, executive vice president of business development for Renaissance Food Group, spoke on behalf of the riders. She thanked the crew and sponsors that helped the riders make the trip.
“The last four days this group has become a family,” she said.
“We pushed each other to go beyond physical and mental limits,” she said. “I’m pretty sure we all curled up in The Hurt Locker multiple times this week.”
Some riders gots “bump, bruised and bloodied,” Nelson said.
“And we did it for the same mission — to raise money for over 50 salad bars so kids can have access to healthy fruits and veggies to nourish and fuel their lives,” she said. “And these kids are an extension of our family — we ride for them, and we also ride for our future.”
Tom Stenzel, president of the United Fresh Produce Association, expressed thanks to the riders, the sponsors and the California Giant Foundation.
“$175,000 is the highest total Tour de Fresh has ever raised in a single year,” he said. “You add that to what came from their first five, and we’re going to beat $1 million dollars (combined) next year,” he said.
Stenzel said the Salad Bars to Schools movement has provided nearly 6,000 salad bars to schools across the country, mostly in low-income areas.
“Now they are getting fresh fruits and vegetables and it is because of the passion that people like you have brought to this,” Stenzel said. “So thank you again for everything you’ve done on behalf of the United Fresh Start Foundation.”