Several people gathered on stage for the Publix Super Markets check presentation at the annual Produce For Kids reception at the SEPC Southern Exposure trade show in Tampa, Fla.: Mary Velasquez (front, left to right) of Coast Tropical; Trish James of Produce for Kids; Jeff Boggs of Publix, John Shuman of Shuman Farms; Sean Strady of Marie's, Javier Torres (back row, left to right) of Tomato Thyme; Jason Bucko of Mastronardi; Patrick Cortes and Brooke Franklin, both of Mission Produce, Curt Epperson, Daryl Piliego and Wesley Reese, all of Publix; George Harter of CMI Orchards; and Justin Coffey of Wonderful. ( Photo courtesy Produce for Kids )

View photos from 2020 SEPC's Southern Exposure here.

Produce for Kids celebrated its 2019 successes and shared its future vision at the annual Produce for Kids reception at the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure trade show in Tampa, Fla.

The organization has raised more than $7 million to benefit children and families since it was created in 2002 by Shuman Produce Inc., according to a news release.

Almost 200 guests at the Feb. 27 gathering were encouraged to use the hashtag #WhatsYourCause throughout the reception and remainder of the trade show.

At the Produce for Kids booth, a fruit and veggie Where’s Waldo themed game ended with a $500 check for Paul Anderson Youth Home, the winning charity.

Matt Spence, chief programs officer at the Feeding America food bank Feeding Tampa Bay, discussed how Produce for Kids Publix campaigns have helped alleviate childhood hunger in Tampa.

Donation checks were presented for each 2019 retail program, including:

  • Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) Springfield Division;
  • AWG Gulf Coast Division;
  • Associated Wholesale Grocers Oklahoma Division; 
  • Military Produce Group;
  • Publix Super Markets;
  • Power Your Lunchbox digital program; and 
  • Mission for Nutrition digital program.

In 2020, the group is continuing in-store campaigns and two digital campaigns, Mission for Nutrition, which launched March 1 and Power Your Lunchbox, which launches in August to kick off the school year. 

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