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CARLISLE, Pa. -- Giant Food Stores, Tops Markets, and Martin's Food Markets said yesterday are taking part in this year's Produce for Kids (PFK) program, which kicked off yesterday. The annual campaign emphasizes the importance of adding more fruits and vegetables to children's daily diets, in addition to raising funds for local Children's Miracle Network hospitals. This year's program has two new features: a nutritional expert and an interactive healthy kid's club.
"Connie Evers...an award-winning author and kids' nutrition authority...will present creative ways to promote better eating habits to youngsters of all ages," noted John Shuman, president of Reidsville, Ga.-based Shuman Produce, Inc. and founder of PFK, in a statement. Evers, a mother of three and the author of "How to Teach Nutrition to Kids," will make appearances in select markets throughout the campaign to talk about making edible objects of art from perishable foods as a fun way to get children to eat more fruits and vegetables. Her latest title, "Good for YOU!," a nutrition/health book and game for kids ages 6 to 9, comes out this summer.
The PFK Healthy Kids Club, available online May 14 through June 30, helps children and parents to "get healthy and give hope." The club urges members to buy sponsors' products, create fun recipes, and interact with PFK's educational section on the site.
Each time a member completes an activity, his or her name will be entered into a drawing for a family vacation for four to the winner's choice of Orlando, Fla. or Williamsburg, Va. The club also offers a contest for best recipe.
From May 14 to June 10, Giant, Tops, and Martin's will promote the following sponsors in their combined 248 stores: Shuman Produce's RealSweet Vidalia Onions, Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet Pineapples in whole and fresh-cut forms, T. Marzetti Refrigerated Salad Dressings, Stemilt Growers' Apples; Dole Fresh Packaged Salads, and Chiquita Fresh-Cut Fruit.
Participating sponsors contribute to Children's Miracle Network by making a per-unit donation based on shipments of select items to Giant stores. All funds directly benefit Children's Miracle Network hospitals within the areas served by the participating retailers.
"We anticipate more kids will be involved this year, which should help us to raise more money," said Giant-Carlisle v.p. of produce and floral Jeff Beaulieu. "Giant Food Stores [is] committed to providing health information to its customers and pleased to give back to the community by supporting local Children's Miracle Network hospitals, a charity Giant has supported for nearly a decade."
PFK, which was created in 2002 to bring the produce industry together in support of Children's Miracle Network, has raised more than $475,000 to date. Besides Giant-Carlisle, participating retailers in the campaign include Publix Supermarkets, Meijer, Hannaford Bros., Harris Teeter, Acme, and Kroger SW Division. Get more information at http://www.produceforkids.org.
Giant-Carlisle, one of four retail-operating companies under Ahold USA, operates 103 stores as Giant Food Stores, 119 stores as Tops Markets and 26 stores as Martin's Food Markets. With nearly 40,000 associates Giant serves a six state market area.