Produce For Kids, an Orlando, Fla.-based non-profit that teaches families about healthy eating, is partnering with five retail supermarket chains this fall to encourage families to add fruits and vegetables to their back-to-school shopping lists, and to support PBS KIDS, the U.S. Corporation for Public Broadcasting's children's media enterprise that entertains and educates with its “Eat Smart for a Great Start” campaign.
From Sept. 6 to Oct. 31, families who purchase fruits and vegetables at Meijer, Publix, Price Chopper, Giant Foods of Carlisle, Pa., and stores in Kroger's Delta division will be supporting PBS' educational programming and services for children.
PFK's spring campaign, which benefits the Children's Miracle Network Hospital and is called “Get Healthy, Give Hope,” raised over $472,000 this year.
“We're pretty excited about [that], given the state of the economy,” said Kari Volyn, spokeswoman for PFK.
“I think that's why Produce for Kids is such a charitable program — because people may be cutting back on charitable giving in their budgets now, but they can still do good and feel good about giving to their local children's hospital while buying things for their family that are good for them.”
Volyn told SN that there is no licensing involved in the program, and depending on decisions made by retailers and their suppliers, a percentage of produce sales from participating suppliers goes to PBS KIDS.
“So, sliced apples, for example — Stemilt's a sponsor in Meijer, so during the course of the campaign, Stemilt makes a donation based on a portion of the sales of their items,” Volyn said. “It's perfect, nothing comes out of the shoppers' pockets, it's all paid for by the suppliers donating a portion of their sales.”
Publix Super Markets, Lakeland, Fla., participates in both the spring and fall PFK campaigns.
“At select stores, our Publix Simple Meals kiosk and meal specialist will host a kids' cooking class,” spokeswoman Maria Brous said. “The idea is to get kids excited about healthy eating options.”