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    Grocers, PFK Back Nutritious Eating, Local Schools

    ‘Healthy Families, Helping Kids’ campaign promotes fresh produce consumption

    The second annual Produce for Kids (PFK) “Healthy Families, Helping Kids” campaign, kicking off in September, aims to raise money for local health and nutrition-based classroom projects in each of the participating grocers’ markets through online charity DonorsChoose.org. In 2012, the campaign raised more than $169,000 and aided 652 classroom projects throughout the country.

    More than 20 fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers will join the effort by making a consumption-based donation to DonorsChoose.org to local schools. The more items from participating companies that shoppers purchase, the more local classrooms benefit. Food retail partners taking part in the campaign include Acme Markets, Meijer Stores and Publix Super Markets.

    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 funds raised during the PFK campaign will go to match public donations to participating projects in each grocer’s local communities.

    Through October, produce sections in more than 1,300 grocery stores across 15 states will feature Produce for Kids signage with characters from the Sprout television program “The Chica Show.” In-store signage will direct shoppers to the new PFK website, which offers more than 120 Ideal Meals recipes, meal-planning tools, campaign information, and tips and solutions for families.

    “We’re helping to educate kids, both at home and in the classroom, on the importance of a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables by funding health and nutrition-based projects,” said John Shuman, president of Orlando, Fla.-based PFK.

    PFK is promoting the campaign via all social media platforms, with plans to hold various sweepstakes and giveaways on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    Additionally, as part of the PFK-Sprout partnership, characters from “LazyTown” and other Sprout shows will meet kids at in-store appearances encouraging exercise and healthy eating. Sprout, the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online, is promoting the campaign through daily national campaign-focused television spots and web banners on its website, which receives more than 1 million visits monthly.

    Sponsored products for each supermarket can be found on display materials in the grocery stores’ fresh produce departments and on PFK’s website.

    Since its creation in 2002 by Reidsville, Ga.-based Shuman Produce Inc., PFK has raised more than $4.2 million to help children.

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