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    PMA Provides Half-Million Dollars to PBH's Capital Campaign

    NEWARK, Del. -- The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) here has committed to a half-million-dollar partnership with Scholastic, Inc. to encourage the nation's schoolchildren to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. This classroom-based initiative supports Produce for Better Health's (PBH) "Campaign for Children¿s Health."

    NEWARK, Del. -- The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) here has committed to a half-million-dollar partnership with Scholastic, Inc. to encourage the nation's schoolchildren to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. This classroom-based initiative supports Produce for Better Health's (PBH) "Campaign for Children’s Health."

    The four-year in-school program is designed to reach more than 300,000 kids and 450,000 parents in its first year alone with messages that promote consumption and safe food handling. When the program launches in October, 2007, more than 10,000 third- and fourth-grade teachers will receive curriculum-ready information and resources on how to make fruits and vegetables fun for kids to consume. Each year the number of teachers, students, and their families who will receive the materials will increase. By the end of the 2010, more than 70,000 teachers will have incorporated consumption messages into classroom lessons for more than 2 million of their students and more than 3 million family members.

    "Produce Marketing Association is excited about supporting PBH's Campaign for Children’s Health through our partnership with Scholastic, Inc., a world leader in educating children," said PMA president Bryan Silbermann. "We want children to experience firsthand that fruits and vegetables taste great and are fun to eat. Reaching children and their Gen X parents through the trusted sources of teachers and Scholastic, Inc. is invaluable to helping them become lifelong produce consumers."

    PBH president Elizabeth Pivonka said: "Children are quite open to information and experiences at this young age. Classroom materials and those that will be taken home will emphasize the flavor and fun of eating produce. Because parents of children in this age group grew up with Scholastic materials that were both enjoyable and educational, we believe the materials will be very well received."

    The program will tie in messaging from PBH and Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) that promotes veggie and fruit consumption and safe food handling. The program will launch in early October each year, a time when teachers are most likely to be receptive to new supplemental materials they can use throughout the school year.

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