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    Giant, Martin's Support Classroom Initiative

    'Produce For Kids' to raise money for schools' health and nutrition projects

    Produce for Kids (PFK) and select grocery stores are gearing up for the fall launch of the Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds campaign to raise money for local health and nutrition-based classroom projects in each of the participating retailers’ markets through DonorsChoose.org. In addition, Produce for Kids will continue its partnership with Sprout, the 24-hour preschool television channel.

    Shoppers in participating partner retailers, including Ahold’s Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant and Martin’s Food Stores and its sister Landover, Md.-based Giant Foods Stop & Shop divisions; Meijer and Publix Super Markets can be on the lookout for the Produce for Kids display unit, featuring characters from popular Sprout shows, LazyTown and Noodle and Doodle, in the produce section of more than 2,000 grocery stores in 21 states.  More than 15 fruit and vegetable growers support the campaign, representing major categories in the fresh produce department.

    From September through October, participating fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers will make a donation to DonorsChoose.org to provide funding for local classrooms based on the support of their fresh produce items at participating grocery stores. The more items shoppers add to their shopping lists, the more local classrooms benefit. The participating grocery stores will also feature the Ideal Meals™ program from Produce for Kids. Ideal Meals provides quick and easy meal planning ideas using fresh produce. The program also offers chef-created/dietitian-approved meal solutions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts. The collectible recipe cards can be found in the produce department at participating grocery stores and are free to shoppers.

    “Partnering with DonorsChoose.org for the Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds campaign furthers our grass-root efforts and gives all of our participating retailers the opportunity to help support their local schools,” said Kim Avola, VP of the Orlando-based PFK. “By funding health and nutrition-based projects, we’re also helping to educate kids on the importance of a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.”

    DonorsChoose.org is an online charity aimed at helping public and charter school teachers across America obtain the supplies needed for their classrooms. To date, 230,000 public and charter school teachers have used DonorsChoose.org to secure $120 million in books, art supplies, technology and other resources to enhance student learning. All money raised during the Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds campaign will be used to match donations to classroom projects in each of the participating retailers’ local communities.

    During the campaign, Produce for Kids and Sprout will once again be hosting in-store character appearances, giving shoppers the chance to meet, get autographs from and take pictures with their favorite characters.

    “We are proud to support Produce for Kids and its campaign which encourages healthy eating habits for young kids and families. These concepts are reflected every day on Sprout in shows like Lazytown and The Super Sproutlet Show which are all about healthy eating and healthy lifestyles,” said Jim Multari, VP of marketing, Sprout.

    Produce for Kids will also be hosting the Party With Your Produce Challenge for both teachers and families. Teachers are encouraged to throw a healthy classroom party using participating sponsors’ fresh produce items and submit a photo. Teachers have the chance to win a Sprout character appearance for their schools and DonorsChoose.org gift cards to redeem for classroom resources. Families are asked to create a Pinterest pin board for their healthy party ideas using Ideal Meals and other healthy recipes. Families can also enter by uploading a picture of their healthy meal creation to the website for a chance to win grocery store gift cards, Sprout gift baskets and more.

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