At its annual reception at the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure, cause marketing organization Produce for Kids celebrated a successful year with a crowd of more than 200 and a “Lettuce Squash Hunger” theme.
“We truly have something to celebrate tonight. We have raised $6.4 million for families in need since 2002 and $309k in 2017 alone,” said John Shuman, founder of Produce for Kids and president at Shuman Produce, in early March. “It’s phenomenal to see how far we’ve come and how many families we have reached not only through nutrition education, but through those who have sought help from the Feeding America 200 food banks and 60,000 pantries we serve across the U.S.”
Recently released Associated Wholesale Grocer Springfield Division in-store point of sale materials were displayed during the reception as guests were invited to snap a photo with the “Turnip the Beet” standee. Additional signage featuring tips from the Produce for Kids registered dietitian, also in attendance, was showcased as well.
“As we move forward in 2018, it is our goal to connect more with our customers, encourage them to share their struggles with us, and most importantly celebrate their wins,” said Trish James, VP of Produce for Kids. “We will strategically approach all of our in-store and digital campaigns with this in mind.”
Clarissa Rains of Feeding Tampa Bay addressed the audience regarding the state of childhood hunger in the Tampa Bay area and the benefit of the proceeds from the Produce for Kids Publix campaigns, including the backpack campaigns, salad bars and efforts to introduce more produce to the families facing hunger.
Produce for Kids awarded partner organizations for their contributions through the year, including awards for Acosta Marketing for Most Charitable; Avocados from Mexico for Campaign Champion; Bee Sweet Citrus for Lunchbox Inspiration; Melissa’s Specialty Produce for Social Media Rockstar; Price Chopper for Retailer in the Community; and the Watermelon Board for Retail Dietitian Advocate.
In 2018, Produce for Kids retail partners include AWG Springfield Division, AWG Oklahoma Division, AWG Gulf Coast Division, Meijer Stores, Military Produce Group, Price Chopper and Publix Super Markets. In addition, the 5th annual Power Your Lunchbox Promise program will launch in August 2018 to kick off the school year.