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REIDSVILLE, Ga. -- Known for its national summer fundraising campaign that teams up supermarket retailers with the produce industry to raise funds for local Children's Miracle Network hospitals, Produce for Kids based here has added some new elements to its program for this summer.
"We are excited about the new changes this year," said John Shuman, president of Shuman Produce and founder of PFK. "Produce for Kids is focusing its efforts on educating children and parents alike on the benefits of a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables while benefiting hospitalized children in participating retailer's markets."
Among the new elements, PFK will partner with Connie Evers, M.S., R.D., an award-winning author, noted nutritional authority and mother of three, who has worked as a nutrition education consultant for schools, universities, state agencies and USDA child nutrition programs.
"Teaching a child to eat healthfully is a daunting task, but not if the key ingredient is fun," says Evers. "Like it or not, today's kids are easily bored, and through this year's program, we hope to encourage them to have fun with fruits and vegetables." Evers' newest book, Good for YOU!, is a nutrition/health book and game geared towards children, ages 6-9, set to be released this summer. Evers will appear in select markets throughout the campaign and will be featured on a satellite media tour.
Also new this year is the PFK Healthy Kids Club, available online May 10 through June 30, 2006, prompting children, as well as parents, to "get healthy and give hope." Recommended activities encourage club members to purchase sponsors' products, create fun recipes and interact with PFK's educational section of the web site.
Each time a club member completes an activity their name will be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing for a family vacation for four to the winner's choice of sunny Orlando, Fla. or Williamsburg, Va. The Grand Prize package includes a five-day, four-night stay at a local resort, airfare and theme park passes for a family of four. The more kids play, the better their chances to win. Other incentives include a contest for the best recipe
The 2006 PFK summer campaign is supported by eight retail chains representing nearly 2,000 stores, that serve more than 23 states, and over a dozen co-sponsors.
From May through June, Acme Markets, Giant Food Stores (Carlisle, Pa.), Tops Markets, Hannaford Supermarkets, Harris Teeter, Kroger (Southwest Division), Meijer and Publix Super Markets will help raise money for Children's Miracle Network-affiliated hospitals through the Produce for Kids program.
Sponsors of Produce for Kids include Shuman Produce's REALSWEET brand Vidalia Onions; Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet Pineapples in whole and fresh cut forms; Fresh Express Packaged Salads: T. Marzetti Refrigerated Salad Dressings; Stemilt Growers' Apples and Cherries; Dole Fresh Packaged Salads; Country Fresh Cut Fruit; Ripe N' Ready Tree Fruit; Tropicana Fresh Orange Juice products; Chiquita Fresh-Cut Fruit and Bananas; Green Giant Fresh Red Potatoes; Driscoll's Raspberries; Sunkist Oranges; Chelan Fresh Apples; Giorgio Mushrooms; Salyer American Broccoli; Custom Pak Cherry Berry Grape Tomatoes and Pacific Trellis Tree Fruit.
"We're really pleased with the way PFK has taken off," Shuman added. "Since the beginning, we have already raised more than $475,000 for children's hospitals. This has proven to be an effective way to raise money for a great cause."
For more information on PFK, as well as a list of participating
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, go to http://www.produceforkids.org.