Produce for Kids and Meijer launched the Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds campaign Sept. 1 to raise money for local health and nutrition-based classroom projects through DonorsChoose.org.
Now through Sept. 29, Meijer shoppers can be on the lookout for the Produce for Kids display, featuring characters from popular shows, LazyTown and Noodle and Doodle, in the produce section of all 199 Meijer stores.
During the campaign, participating fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers will make a donation based on consumption of their fresh produce items to DonorsChoose.org, which will support local classroom projects. The more items shoppers add to their shopping lists, the more local classrooms will benefit.
Meijer will also feature the Ideal Meals program from Produce for Kids in the produce department. The Ideal Meals cards provide 12 quick and easy, healthy meal ideas free to shoppers, and are found in the produce department. Ideal Meals offers chef-created/dietitian-approved complete meal solutions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts.
“We have been partnering with Produce for Kids for the past 10 years, and together, we have helped educate our customers about the importance of healthy food choices,” said Shari Steinbach, lead dietitian and healthy living advisor for Meijer. “By working with Produce for Kids, and helping support local classrooms, we are helping to teach children how to eat in order to make their bodies strong and healthy.”
DonorsChoose.org is an online charity aimed at helping public and charter school teachers across America obtain the supplies needed for their classrooms. To date, 230,000 public and charter school teachers have used DonorsChoose.org to secure $120 million in books, art supplies, technology and other resources to enhance student learning. All money raised during the Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds campaign will be used to match donations to classroom projects in Meijer’s local communities.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Meijer on this first time Produce for Kids initiative to fund classroom projects focused on health and nutrition in the Meijer market area,” said Kim Avola, vice president of Produce for Kids. “Healthy living should start at a young age. The Healthy Schools, Healthy Minds campaign will make sure classrooms have the tools to make this happen.”
Produce for Kids will also host the "Party with Your Produce Challenge" for both teachers and families. Teachers are encouraged to throw a healthy classroom party using participating sponsors’ fresh produce items and submit a photo for the chance to win a Sprout character appearance for their school and DonorsChoose.org gift cards to redeem for classroom resources.
Families are asked to create a Pinterest pin board for their healthy party ideas, using Ideal Meals and other healthy recipes. Families can also enter by uploading a picture of their healthy meal creation to the website for a chance to win cookware, grocery store gift cards, Sprout gift baskets and more.
For more information, visit www.produceforkids.com.