Produce for Kids is asking families to show the world how they power their lunchboxes using the hashtag #PowerYourLunchbox now through Sept. 22. The program, Power Your Lunchbox, in its sixth year, encourages families to eat more nutritious lunches and make healthy choices as they head back to school.
This year, the program’s health-conscious brand partners have committed to providing 180,000 meals to Feeding America’s programs that affect families and children. One dollar helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.
“As parents and guardians, we all want our kids to succeed in school and the foundation of that success is the right nutrition to keep students’ brains powered all day long,” said Trish James, VP, Produce for Kids. “Along with our like-minded brand partners, we are working hard this back-to-school season to make sure families have the resources they need for success while raising funds for families in need.”
Nine brands will join forces to make sure families start the year on a healthy foot, while making a difference in the fight to end hunger: Bee Sweet Citrus, Crispy Green, GROW Bananas, Litehouse, NatureFresh Farms, Pero Family Farms, Shuman Farms’ RealSweet, Wholly Guacamole and Zespri Kiwifruit.
This year, a new registered dietitian has joined the Produce for Kids team just in time for Power Your Lunchbox. Sally Kuzemchack, author of RealMomNutrition.com and cookbooks “The 101 Healthiest Foods for Kids” and “Cooking Light Dinner Time Survival Guide,” will serve as the official registered dietitian at Produce for Kids. Kuzemchack will be active during the program on the Produce for Kids Instagram, providing content to poweryourlunchbox.com and sharing tips on the Healthy Family Project podcast.
Poweryourlunchbox.com has a new look and feel this year, spotlighting kid-friendly and registered dietitian-approved lunchbox inspiration and content featuring brand partners, back-to-school content and a sweepstakes where consumers can enter to win an Echo Show. Additional elements to the campaign include national e-newsletters targeting families, content creator/influencer outreach and social media promotion during the campaign timeframe.
Instagram will be a key platform for the program, focusing on Produce for Kids’ audience of more than 60,000, as well as the audiences of several other Instagram content creators through Takeover Tuesdays, IGTV and live videos. The recently launched Food Rx Instagram series featuring Jessica DeLuise, PA-C, CCMS, will shift focus to back to school and eating a healthy lunch. Instagram users can enter weekly giveaways using #PowerYourLunchbox for a chance to win lunchbox items like sandwich cutters, bento boxes and more.
Produce for Kids will host the #PowerYourLunchbox Twitter party on Aug. 15 at 4 p.m. ET, encouraging questions and comments from families, and will be releasing a series of episodes on the new Produce for Kids podcast, Healthy Family Project. The Twitter party and podcasts will focus on everything back-to-school, from fueling kids’ minds with healthy lunchbox ideas, to organization and meal prep.
“To date, Power Your Lunchbox has contributed the equivalent of nearly 1.3 million meals to Feeding America,” James said. “It’s very hard to do your best on an empty stomach, and this program is able to provide inspiration for families and also provide much needed help to families who are facing hunger.”
Retail dietitians are also invited to join in on the Power Your Lunchbox efforts by downloading materials from the Produce for Kids retail dietitian-focused online hub for use in stores.
Power Your Lunchbox started in 2014 to help families during the back-to-school season. In 2016, the program was awarded a Marketing Excellence Award from Produce Business. In June, Produce for Kids was the first-place recipient of the Best International Initiative for Marketing Fresh Produce to Children in 2019 for the Power Your Lunchbox program at this year’s London Produce Show and Conference.
Since its creation in 2002 by Shuman Farms, Produce for Kids has raised more than $6.7 million to benefit children and families.