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    Major Grocers Back ‘Produce for Kids’

    Five retail supermarket chains are gearing up to help shoppers add fruits and vegetables to their back-to-school lists this fall, simultaneously supporting the cause-oriented “Produce For Kids” (PFK) annual campaign in the process.

    Five retail supermarket chains are gearing up to help shoppers add fruits and vegetables to their back-to-school lists this fall, simultaneously supporting the cause-oriented “Produce For Kids” (PFK) annual campaign in the process. From Sept. 6 to Oct. 31, families who purchase fruits and vegetables at Meijer, Publix, Price Chopper, Kroger’s Delta division and Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant Food Stores will help support PFK and PBS KIDS’ “Eat Smart for a Great Start” campaign.

    “More than ever, consumers are weighing corporate philanthropy and cause partnerships in buying decisions,” said Heidi McIntyre, PFK executive director. “Produce for Kids and PBS KIDS have similar missions -- to support children’s healthy development -- so we are excited to continue our partnership with the most trusted children’s educational media brand.”

    In view of a study by The Perishables Group that found that only 18 percent of parents surveyed said their children eat the recommended three or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day, a key component of PFK’s mission is to educate parents, teachers and children about how to combat unhealthy trends.

    Andrew Russell, SVP at Arlington, Va.-based PBS Ventures, said, “PBS KIDS remains committed to helping families explore what it means to lead healthy lifestyles.” The extended partnership with PFK, he adds, will further ensure “positive messages about nutrition [that will] continue to be reinforced through role models and storytelling as well as in the community,” via recognizable characters such as Arthur and Sid from “The Sid Science Kid,” among others.

    The PFK/PBS partnership, now in its third year, raises money for PBS KIDS. The funds raised by participating retailers and fresh produce company suppliers go back into PBS’ educational programming and services. This year’s fall campaign will include an online coloring contest to win a Nintendo Wii Fit, as well as a classroom component for teachers to enter called the “Play with Your Produce Classroom Challenge” -- a hands-on learning experience for children in grades K through 6.

    Created in 2002 by Reidsville, Ga.-based Shuman Produce, Inc., marketer of RealSweet brand sweet onions, PFK brings the fresh produce industry together to raise funds for children’s nonprofit organizations while educating families about the benefits of healthy eating.

    To learn more, visit www.produceforkids.org, or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/produceforkids and Facebook at www.facebook.com.

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