Produce For Kids® Partners with Grocery Stores and Sprout® to Encourage Healthy Eating and Help Local Schools

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The “Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds” campaign raises money for local classroom projects through DonorsChoose.org

This fall, Produce for Kids and select grocery stores will be launching the Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds campaign to raise money for local health and nutrition based classroom projects in each of the participating retailer’s markets through DonorsChoose.org. In addition, Produce for Kids will be continuing its partnership with Sprout®, the 24-hour preschool television channel.

Shoppers can be on the look out for the Produce for Kids display unit, featuring characters from popular Sprout shows, LazyTown™ and Noodle and Doodle, in the produce section of more than 2,000 grocery stores in 21 states. Grocery retail partners participating in the campaign include Ahold’s GIANT and Martin’s Food Stores, Giant Landover, and Stop & Shop divisions; Meijer Stores; and Publix Super Markets. More than 15 fruit and vegetable growers support the campaign, representing major categories in the fresh produce department.

From September through October, participating fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers will make a donation to DonorsChoose.org to provide funding for local classrooms based on the support of their fresh produce items at participating grocery stores. The more items shoppers add to their shopping lists, the more local classrooms benefit. The participating grocery stores will also feature the Ideal Meals™ program from Produce for Kids. Ideal Meals provide quick and easy healthy meal planning ideas using fresh produce. Ideal Meals offer chef-created/dietitian-approved complete meal solutions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts. The collectible recipe cards can be found in the produce department at participating grocery stores and are free to shoppers.

“Partnering with DonorsChoose.org for the Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds campaign furthers our grass-root efforts and gives all of our participating retailers the opportunity to help support their local schools,” says Kim Avola, Vice President Produce for Kids. “By funding health and nutrition based projects, we’re also helping to educate kids on the importance of a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.”

DonorsChoose.org is an online charity aimed at helping public and charter school teachers across America obtain the supplies needed for their classrooms. To date, 230,000 public and charter schoolteachers have used DonorsChoose.org to secure $120 million in books, art supplies, technology and other resources to enhance student learning. All money raised during the Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds campaign will be used to match donations to classroom projects in each of the participating retailers’ local communities.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Produce for Kids and participating retailers to engage the public to fund classroom projects focused on health and nutrition,” said Janelle Lin, Vice President of Partnerships and Business Development for DonorsChoose.org. “Health should start at a young age and what kids are fed and taught at school will affect the way they live the rest of their lives.”

During the campaign, Produce for Kids and Sprout will once again be hosting in-store character appearances, giving shoppers the chance to meet, get autographs and take pictures with their favorite characters.
“We are proud to support Produce for Kids and their campaign which encourages healthy eating habits for young kids and families. These concepts are reflected everyday on Sprout in shows like Lazytown and The Super Sproutlet Show which are all about healthy eating and healthy lifestyles”, said Jim Multari, vice president of marketing, Sprout.

Produce for Kids will also be hosting the Party With Your Produce Challenge for both teachers and families. Teachers are encouraged to throw a healthy classroom party using participating sponsors’ fresh produce items and submit a photo for the chance to win a Sprout character appearance for their schools and DonorsChoose.org gift cards to redeem for classroom resources. Families are asked to create a Pinterest pin board for their healthy party ideas, using Ideal Meals and other healthy recipes. Families can also enter by uploading a picture of their healthy meal creation to the website for a chance to win grocery store gift cards, Sprout gift baskets and more.

Grocery retail partners participating in the Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds campaign include: Ahold’s GIANT and Martin’s Food Stores, Giant Landover, and Stop & Shop divisions; Meijer Stores; and Publix Super Markets.

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About Produce for Kids
Produce for Kids® encourages healthy eating among families by providing simple, healthy meal solutions and resources for parents, while raising funds for local children’s non-profit organizations. Since its creation in 2002 by Shuman Produce Inc., Produce for Kids has raised more than $4 million to benefit kids. To learn more about Produce for Kids and healthy eating, visit http://www.produceforkids.com, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

About DonorsChoose.org
Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post requests, and individuals can give directly to the ones that inspire them. To date, 230,000 public and charter schoolteachers have used DonorsChoose.org to secure $120 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn. Visit http://www.donorschoose.org/intro to hear Oprah Winfrey and Stephen Colbert tell the DonorsChoose.org story.

About Sprout®
Available in over 50 million homes, Sprout is the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for children ages 2-5 and their parents and caregivers. The 24-hour digital channel, which launched in September 2005 along with the website (SproutOnline.com), is the only channel that follows the day of a preschooler from breakfast to bedtime with its distinctive, interactive programming and original hosted blocks. Sprout’s VOD offering is the #1 on demand service for younger children with over one billion views.

Sprout is a partnership among NBCUniversal, PBS, Sesame Workshop and Apax Funds. Its program lineup of gold-standard, curriculum-based preschool shows includes: Sesame Street®, Bob the Builder™, Barney & Friends™, The Wiggles®, Caillou®, Pajanimals™, Thomas & Friends™, LazyTown™, and more. http://www.SproutOnline.com, http://www.facebook.com/Sprout, http://www.twitter.com/SproutTV

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Jennifer Krosche
Child's Play Communications
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