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    Price Chopper Helps Kids Eat More Produce

    Price Chopper and Produce for Kids (PFK), an organization promoting the benefits of healthy eating and supporter of children’s causes, have together launched the “Get Healthy, Give Hope” campaign, to raise money for local Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hospitals and encourage parents to add more fruits and vegetables to their kids’ diets.

    Price Chopper and Produce for Kids (PFK), an organization promoting the benefits of healthy eating and supporter of children’s causes, have together launched the “Get Healthy, Give Hope” campaign, to raise money for local Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hospitals and encourage parents to add more fruits and vegetables to their kids’ diets.

    A Produce for Kids national research study released earlier this month found that only 18 percent of U.S. children are eating the recommended three or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and 43 percent of kids have one or fewer than one daily serving of fresh produce. The study discovered that parents spend an average of just $103 annually on fruits -- or $2 per week -- and $114.62 on vegetables. (Progressive Grocer ran an article on the study in its the May 2008 issue).

    The campaign will run from June 1 and through June 29 at Price Chopper’s more than 100 stores in the Northeast.

    “Get Healthy, Give Hope” sponsors, including Country Fresh Mushrooms; Custom Pak, Inc. Tomatoes; Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet Pineapple; Vidalia Onions; Stemilt Growers, Inc. Apples and AppleSweets; and Ventura Foods, LLC (Marie's) Salad Dressings, will make a monetary donation for each fresh produce item bought during the campaign. All funds raised will go to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals in the Price Chopper market area.

    “The Produce for Kids national research study showed that 55 percent of parents would welcome information in the produce department about fun, kid-friendly recipes that families can make together, while 46 percent said that they would appreciate tips on how to encourage picky eaters to eat more vegetables,” noted Price Chopper consumer services manager Maureen Murphy. “Our new campaign provides parents with exactly the kind of support and encouragement they are looking for, and helps them fit more fresh fruits and vegetables into today’s demanding family routines.”

    The initiative will introduce three new characters known as “Fresh Idols” -- Vita MC, Mindee Melon, and Sammy Snax -- who will appear on point-of-sale materials in all Price Chopper stores. The aim of the Fresh Idols is to present fresh produce as a fun, fast, convenient, and healthy snack alternative.

    Additionally, children can vote for their favorite Fresh Idols at www.produceforkids.org, which offers such features as contests, healthy eating tips, games, and recipes.

    “There can be no more important cause than the health and happiness of our kids,” said PFK president John Shuman. “By working with Price Chopper to support the Children’s Miracle Network with this fun, high-profile campaign, we are helping to ensure that kids in need get the best medical care -- and make it easier for parents to rebalance their kids’ diets by adding more fresh produce.”

    The Schenectady, N.Y.-based Golub Corp. owns and operates 116 Price Chopper grocery stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The family-owned company’s approximately 24,000 associates collectively own 51 percent of the company’s privately held stock.

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