Skip the vending machine—students in Mesa Public Schools in Mesa, Arizona, get their snacks from custom bags delivered right to their classroom every day.
It’s part of the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which encourages consumption of fresh, wholesome foods at snack time.
Sarah Langston, a supervisor for Mesa Public Schools, came to ePromos seeking a smarter alternative to baskets and disposable bags, which the district had used in previous years.
“We wanted to increase fresh food consumption and introduce children to items they might not normally get,” Langston says. “We needed a way to transport the produce among 250 classes at nine different schools.”
For Langston, promotional bags were the perfect fit. They’re insulated, keeping contents chilled for hours. They’re also designed with carrying handles and a slot on the front for inserting classroom numbers.
The schools purchase the fresh fare, and then fill up the custom bags for all the various classrooms. “The fruits and veggies go from the kitchen into the bags and then into classrooms where kids get a morning snack,” says Langston. “The produce can be packaged at 8 am and still be cool at snack time.”
Through this program, kids aren’t just getting something nutritious to nosh on—they’re also learning about the importance of eating the good stuff. Teachers are required to educate the students about nutrition and hand out flyers.
Mesa schools started on August 8, and the custom bags have been put to use shuttling all kinds of healthy treats: red D’Anjou pears, grape tomatoes, mini cucumbers, apples, grapes and pineapples.
Langston and the staff at Mesa Public Schools have healthy eating in the (custom) bag.
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