Teachers will soon be writing essays to win cash for their classrooms from Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla.

Del Monte’s second Teacher Monday Cash for Classrooms promotion begins Sept. 26, giving 60 schools nationwide the chance to win $1,000 worth of school supplies and fresh fruit and vegetables, said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing.

Teachers can enter the contest by submitting a 500-word essay explaining why their classroom should win.

The essays will be posted on www.fruits.com, where consumers can vote for their favorite teacher.

For six weeks, from Oct. 3 to Nov. 7, 10 teachers will be chosen weekly, Christou said.

In addition to the $1,000 prize ($750 for supplies and $250 in coupons for fresh produce), each winning classroom will be invited to select a school in a Del Monte growing region to receive a matching grant.

Retail angle

To encourage retailers to participate in the promotion and distribute point-of-sale materials, Del Monte is holding an in-store display contest, Christou said.

Ten winning retailers will be given the opportunity to award a salad bar to a selected group of schools.

Last year, Christou said Del Monte’s Teacher Monday Cash for Classrooms generated more than one million votes, 30 million on-pack stickers, tags, and labels and more than 120 consumer media outlets delivering 39 million viewers.

“The promotion gives teachers the opportunity to educate their students on healthier eating habits and provides them with much-needed cash for school supplies,” he said.