On the heels of an announcement that the city was discontinuing one initiative to create healthier school lunches, Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised another one.

Bloomberg hailed a program to bring salad bars to the city’s school lunch rooms at a grand opening for a new Whole Foods supermarket, as Midtown residents and morning commuters passed by and jockeyed for samples of the store’s offerings.

The city has created more than 1,000 school salad bars using a mix of public and private funding raised by the Bloomberg administration, and is planning to build more. Whole Foods is donating an additional 57 salad bars to inaugurate the opening of its new store, which shares a building with P.S. 59 and the High School of Art and Design on East 57th Street.

Last week, the city said it would halt a program that places professional chefs in school cafeterias because it does not meet new federal nutritional standards.