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Wilmington, Del. -- Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), its members and participating retailers translated nearly $4.6 million in state grants into fruit and vegetable promotion activities valued at $134 million, the foundation reported.
PBH invested grants received in 2002 from three leading agriculture states to create the 5 A Day The Color Way program and other key activities. The organization's president and c.e.o. Elizabeth Pivonka recently summarized the findings of a report to the granting organizations for attendees of the foundation’s fall committee meetings:
-- 8.5 billion consumer "impressions" have been generated by media coverage, reaching each American an average of 10 times per year with messages to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption;
-- 5.2 billion impressions have been generated by retailer advertising;
-- Color Way awareness increased household fruit and vegetable purchases by 32 percent compared to unaware households, based on new research for PBH by ACNielsen; and
-- 3.6 million students have been reached by the Color Way-themed "There's a Rainbow on My Plate" elementary school educational curriculum.
"These grants made some groundbreaking new work possible at PBH to expand fruit and vegetable consumption that was then multiplied many, many times over because we were able to leverage our powerful industry and retail relationships," said Pivonka. "This is a textbook example of the value of the 5 A Day program's very unique public-private partnership."
PBH received grants in 2002 from California Department of Food and Agriculture ($2.5 million), Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services ($1.7 million), and Arizona Department of Food and Agriculture ($338,250). The monies were made possible by one-time specialty-crop block grants that states received from Congress in 2002. The funds also allowed PBH to significantly expand its partner marketing efforts, creating opportunities to leverage popular non-produce brands such as Sesame Workshop and Charlie Brown to extend the fruit and vegetable consumption message.
PBH's foodservice program was also expanded, funding key research to motivate commercial operators and schools to increase their fruit and vegetable menu offerings. This founding research has led to PBH partnerships with powerful influencers including McDonald's and the Culinary Institute of America.
"Because of the foundations built and relationships generated, these investments will continue to generate returns for many years to come," said Pivonka.
The foundation's new report on results generated by the state block-grant funds can be viewed online at http://www.5aday.org/pbhdirect/sep16_2005/spec_crop_grant.pdf.