ABINGDON, Va. - Students at several local schools will soon see new choices when they look over their options in the lunch line thanks to a local grocery store chain.
"We are going to donate salad bars to the schools in hopes of giving young people the option to choose more fruits and vegetables," says Food City CEO Steve Smith.
Food City announced Friday morning it's donating salad bars to six schools across the region.
The company is taking part in a nationwide effort by grocers to help in the fight against childhood obesity.
"Schools can go on line to one of the produce associations we are part of and apply and a lot of the time local grocers will adopt those schools and donate salad bars," says Smith.
The school has what they call a make shift salad bar now but they are hoping to more than double what they offer.
Francine Ivery heads up the school nutrition program for Washington County, Virginia schools.
She tells me how salads are presented in a major factor in whether students make that choice.
"Appearance is key," says Ivery, "we eat with our eyes first."
The school system launched a new nutrition program this year as part of a nationwide effort to curb childhood obesity rates.
It includes more fruits and vegetables.
She says a new salad bar at a middle school appears to appeal to students.
"I went and observed and it surprised me how popular it is," says Ivery.
Food City executive say this is the first time they have taken part in the program but are considering doing it again.
The donated salad bars are being placed at Abingdon High School, Liberty Bell Middle School and Science Hill High School in Johnson City.
As well as schools in Crossville, Tennessee and Pikeville, Kentucky.