(From left) Tanya Edwards with Avocados From Mexico, Gregg Higgerson with Second Harvest Central Florida, John Shuman with Shuman Farms, Sean Strady with Ventura Foods, Jeff Boggs with Publix, Erika Desoust with Wonderful, Trish James with Produce for Kids and Chuck Sardo with Ventura Foods celebrate Produce for Kids at a reception at Southern Exposure. ( Produce for Kids )

Produce for Kids celebrated at Southern Exposure the partnerships that have allowed the org to raise $6.7 million since 2002 for families in need.

Trish James, vice president of Produce for Kids and chief marketing officer for Reidsville, Ga.-based Shuman Farms, encourages companies to continue to embrace cause marketing.

“Today’s shoppers not only gravitate towards brands that give back, they are starting to expect and demand that brands do so,” James said in a news release. “To reach these shoppers it is important for brands to define their cause in an age where consumers are expecting brands, companies and corporations to help make our world a better place by supporting a cause.”

The Produce for Kids booth focused on giving back by donating a meal to Feeding America for each time someone took a photo with the “What’s Your Cause?” backdrop and donating another meal for every such photo shared on social media with the hashtag #WhatsYourCause.

The reception March 8 included the presentation of large checks to represent the contributions of retail partners including Associated Wholesale Grocers Springfield Division, Associated Wholesale Grocers Gulf Coast Division, Associated Wholesale Grocers Oklahoma Division, Military Produce Group, Meijer Food Stores and Publix Super Markets, per the release.

Retail partners for 2019 include Allegiance Retail Services, the same three AWG divisions, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Giant, Military Produce Group, Publix and United Supermarkets.

Produce for Kids display

Produce for Kids is debuting this year a point-of-sale display that has a place for fruit for kids, includes recipe tear pads for parents, and spotlights the produce companies that sponsor the org’s efforts.