( Courtesy of Produce For Kids )

Created by Reidsville, Ga.-based Shuman Farms, the Produce for Kids program’s Power Your Lunchbox campaign returns August 5-Sept. 22 with nine produce brand partners, new initiatives and a new registered dietitian.

The program, in its sixth year, encourages families to eat more nutritious lunches and make healthy choices as they head back to school, according to a news release..

“As parents and guardians, we all want our kids to succeed in school, and the foundation of that success is the right nutrition to keep students’ brains powered all day long,” Trish James, Produce for Kids vice president, said in the release. 

Nine brands will join forces to support Power Your Lunchbox by providing 180,000 meals to Feeding America’s programs that impact families and children:  Bee Sweet Citrus, Crispy Green, GROW Bananas, Litehouse, NatureFresh Farms, Pero Family Farms, Shuman Farms’ RealSweet, Wholly Guacamole and Zespri Kiwifruit.

This year, Produce for Kids welcomes a new official registered dietitian, Sally Kuzemchack, author of RealMomNutrition.com and cookbooks “The 101 Healthiest Foods for Kids” and “Cooking Light Dinner Time Survival Guide.” Kuzemchack will be active on the Produce for Kids Instagram, provide content to poweryourlunchbox.com and share tips on the Healthy Family Project podcast.

Instagram will be a key platform for the program, focusing in on Produce for Kids’ audience of more than 60,000, as well as the audiences of several other Instagram content creators through Takeover Tuesdays, IGTV and Live videos. There’s a recently launched Food Rx Instagram series and weekly giveaways using #PowerYourLunchbox for a chance to win lunchbox-oriented prizes.

Produce for Kids will host the #PowerYourLunchbox Twitter party at 4 p.m. Aug. 15 (Eastern), encouraging questions and comments from families, and will release a series of back-to-school podcasts episodes on the new Produce for Kids podcast, Healthy Family Project. 

“To date, Power Your Lunchbox has contributed the equivalent of nearly 1.3 million meals to Feeding America,” James said in the release. “It’s very hard to do your best on an empty stomach, and this program is able to provide inspiration for families and also provide much needed help to families who are facing hunger.”

Retail dietitians are also invited to join in on the Power Your Lunchbox efforts by downloading materials from the online hub to use in their stores.

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