TAMPA, Fla. — Moving in a new direction in its efforts to encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables, Produce for Kids is starting a retail program designed to help provide convenient meal ideas for time-pressed shoppers.
The Orlando-based organization rolled out the program and thanked retail sponsors during a March 5 reception that was part of the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure 2010 winter convention.
Produce for Kids introduced the Ideal Meals meal solutions program that uses cards in display units in produce aisles to suggest healthy meal ideas.
The self-standing displays feature room for up to 16 recipe cards and have slide drawers for easy card restocking.
Formulated by registered dieticians, the meal suggestions meet U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines, said Heidi McIntyre, Produce for Kids’ executive director.
Courtesy Produce for Kids
Produce for Kids is starting a retail meal suggestions program that uses produce aisle display units to encourage shoppers to prepare healthy and tasty meals.
“We have done a lot of consumer research,” she said. “There is a high level of interest in looking at home meal solutions that use fresh produce items. We hope this becomes our program for the next 10 years.”
During the reception, Prod uce for Kids personnel reviewed the contributions made by partner suppliers and retailers during the past year’s spring and fall campaigns.
The spring campaign generated $436,889 for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals and the fall campaign raised $167,784 for the PBS Kids program.
Garry Bergstrom, business development director of produce and floral for Lakeland-based Publix Supermarkets Inc., thanked the chain’s suppliers in the program.
“You set your own interests aside so together, all the partners of Publix could really do something that was good for Produce for Kids, which is what has helped make the cause a success,” he said. “The business we do together is important. It’s our livelihood. But in the end, it’s the lives we touch that will be remembered.”
In total, Produce for Kids’ partners raised $2.5 million for children’s charities since it was established in 2002.