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Alaska Beat

Arctic village of Kiana praised by Michelle Obama for school salad bar

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published July 19, 2012

In January 2012, the Arctic village of Kiana introduced a salad bar as part of its school lunch program. Now the town has received praise from first lady Michelle Obama for its campaign against childhood obesity.

A video created by the school won second place in the Alaska division of the "Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools" contest, part of the "Let's Move" campaign according to KTUU. "Let's Move" is a campaign initiated by Michelle Obama, who calls her fight against childhood obesity a "passion."

Kiana School counts 126 students and 10 teachers, in a village of only 385 residents, according to the video. The launching of the school salad bar overcame the unique challenges rural Alaskans face. Located about 30 miles north of the Arctic Circle, fresh vegetables are difficult to come by in Kiana.

"A lot of what they get in the villages is canned, so getting fresh oranges, carrots, celery, and apples is something they were all on board with," Dawn Kimberlin, director of marketing for Nana Management Services, told KTUU.

Produce for the school arrives via jet from Kotzebue. According to the video, the total cost to set up the salad bar was $1,514 for equipment and freight. The average monthly cost of the program is $1,244. Principal Scott Warren says "the salad bar has been an overwhelming success…our students love their lunch."

Check out the video below.

Read Let's Move's full blog post, here.

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