The “Get Healthy Give Hope” fundraising campaign by Produce for Kids and 16 retailers raised more than $408,000 for children’s hospitals across the country earlier this year.

The proceeds from the 2011 campaign brings the total raised since 2002 to more than $3.5 million, according to a news release statement Oct. 16 from Produce for Kids founder John Shuman of Shuman Produce Inc., Reidsville, Ga. More than 40 fresh produce suppliers participated in the campaign, in addition to the 16 grocery retailers who had fund drives nationwide.

Produce for Kids fundraiser tops $400,000Participating retailers included: Acme Markets, Ahold’s Giant Food Stores, Martin’s, Giant Landover and Stop & Shop divisions, Associated Wholesale Grocers’ Major Savings, Advantage, Independent, Country Mart, Homeland and United divisions, Kroger’s Southwest and King Soopers divisions, Meijer Inc., Price Chopper and Publix Super Markets.

The fall fundraising campaign for Produce for Kids is ongoing under the theme “Eat Smart for a Great Start.” It will benefit PBS Kids and nutrition-based programming on public television.