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Kudos To All Involved In Produce For Kids

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, May 11, 2007

Here at the Pundit we are, of course, deeply appreciative of all our sponsors. They are the people and organizations that make it possible for us do what we do.

We are especially proud to be associated with John Shuman and Shuman Produce because of John’s role in creating the Produce for Kids program.

The Produce for Kids program is designed to bring the produce trade together to simultaneously educate children on the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables while raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network, which supports a network of children’s hospitals across North America.

Each year the program runs an annual spring fundraising campaign (and this year will add a fall campaign). The gist is that suppliers sponsor the fundraiser by making a per unit donation each time an item is shipped into a participating retailer during the time period of the campaign.

With this year’s spring campaign, the program expects to have raised in excess of $1 million for the Children’s Miracle Network:

PRODUCE FOR KIDS PRIMED TO SURPASS
$1 MILLION FOR CHILDREN’S MIRACLE NETWORK

REIDSVILLE, Ga. — Produce for Kids® (PFK), known for its national spring fundraising campaign that teams supermarket retailers with the produce industry to raise funds for local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, has created a colorful new image. PFK has debuted a new logo, added customized retailer programs and revamped its Web site — all to better promote the advantages of adding more fruits and vegetables to children’s daily diets.

“2007 proudly marks a campaign milestone,” said John Shuman, president of Shuman Produce and founder of PFK. “We expect our contribution to the Children’s Miracle Network will exceed one million dollars since the inception of Produce for Kids six years ago. Our slogan ‘Get Healthy, Give Hope’ emulates our goal to teach children the benefits of eating healthy, especially during the current obesity crisis in our country, while helping hospitalized children. What started out as a small effort to raise money for a worthwhile cause has now evolved into an amazing program.”

The revamped PFK Web site, which launched May 1, has been redesigned to be more user-friendly and interactive. New features include contests, healthy eating tips, games, recipes using sponsors’ products and an invitation to join the Healthy Kids Club.

Also new are PFK’s individualized programs for participating retailers. Each program gives retailers an opportunity to tailor the program to their individual needs. Customized programs include a PFK produce department in-store scavenger hunt, an outdoor event where kids learn about healthy eating while participating in fun activities and interactive meal demonstrations for kids and parents.

The 2007 PFK spring campaign is supported by eight retail chains representing nearly 2,000 stores, serving 23 states, and over 30 co-sponsors.

During the months of May and June, Acme Markets, Giant Food Stores (Carlisle Division), TOPS Markets, Harris Teeter, Kroger (Southwest Division), Meijer, Price Chopper and Publix Super Markets will help raise money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals through the PFK program.

Sponsors of Produce for Kids include Chelan Fresh Apples; Chiquita® Fresh-Cut Fruit and MinisTM; Country Fresh® Vegetable Platters/ Cut Vegetable Packs; Country Fresh Mushroom®Co.; Custom Pak Cherry Berry Grape Tomatoes; Del Monte Gold® Extra Sweet Whole and Fresh Cut Pineapple; Dole® Fresh Packaged Salads; Dole® Fresh Fruit Tropical Gold® Pineapple; Driscoll’s® Raspberries; Eat Smart®Mixed Vegetables; Eurofresh Farms® Tomatoes on the Vine; Everybody’s Nuts® Pistachios; Family Tree Farms® Apricots, Plumcots, Peaches and Nectarines; Foxy® Produce Romaine Hearts; Fresh Express® Packaged Salads; Green Giant® Red Potatoes; Masser TM Potatoes; The National Mango Board; NatureSweet® Vine Ripened Cherry Tomatoes; Olivia’s OrganicsTM; OppenheimerTM Kiwifruit; Pacific Trellis Fruit® Grapes; Santa SweetsTM Grape Tomatoes; Shuman Produce’s REALSWEET® brand Vidalia® Onions; Stemilt® Growers Apples, AppleSweets® and Cherries; Summeripe® Peaches, Plums and Nectarines; Superfresh Growers Apples; T. Marzetti® Salad Dressings and Hummus Dips and Tropicana Pure Premium® Orange Juice products.

For more information on PFK including a list of participating Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, go to www.produceforkids.org.

ABOUT PRODUCE FOR KIDS

Produce for Kids was created in 2002 by Shuman Produce Inc., growers of REALSWEET brand Vidalia Onions, to bring the produce industry together to benefit kids in support of Children’s Miracle Network. Produce for Kids is an integrated marketing campaign featuring the following: point-of-sale materials with floor stands or posters, recipe brochures, shelf cards and shelf tags, advertising, public relations; sweepstakes drawing and Internet marketing with the Web site, www.produceforkids.org. Co-sponsors support the program and make a per-unit donation to Children’s Miracle Network.

ABOUT CHILDREN’S MIRACLE NETWORK

Children’s Miracle Network represents 170 children’s hospitals providing state-of-the-art, lifesaving care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Each year, Children’s Miracle Network hospitals treat 17 million children for every disease and condition imaginable, including cancer, pediatric AIDS, muscular dystrophy, sickle cell anemia, birth defects, asthma and accidental injuries. One hundred percent of all locally raised funds benefit children treated at the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.

Special kudos to the eight participating retailers: Acme Markets, Giant Food Stores (Carlisle Division), TOPS Markets, Harris Teeter, Kroger (Southwest Division), Meijer, Price Chopper and Publix Super Markets. They are often willing to change their procurement habits to buy from participating shippers so they really are doing good work.

The shippers deserve praise as well. Typically they really sell at normal trade prices — and make the donation out of their own pockets and out of the increased volume they realize by participating in such a venture.

“Get Healthy, Give Hope” is the slogan of the program. Just seeing how John Shuman built this from nothing and achieved the range of participation he has today gives us all a reason to have a lot of hope for the future.

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