Acme Opens Produce for Kids' Season

Acme Markets will be the first retailer to kick off a Produce For Kids Spring 2009 fund-raising campaign. Five other supermarket chains will follow with their campaigns in June. The 103-unit Acme chain has partnered with 10 produce companies in the fund-raising event, orchestrated by Produce For Kids, Altamonte Springs, Fla. During the four-week event, which will begin the week of

MALVERN, Pa. — Acme Markets here will be the first retailer to kick off a Produce For Kids Spring 2009 fund-raising campaign.

Five other supermarket chains will follow with their campaigns in June.

The 103-unit Acme chain has partnered with 10 produce companies in the fund-raising event, orchestrated by Produce For Kids, Altamonte Springs, Fla.

During the four-week event, which will begin the week of May 6 at all Acme stores, a percentage of the retail price of selected produce items will be donated to children's nonprofit organizations.

Acme, a division of Supervalu, has been participating in PFK's fund-raising events since 2006. Since then, the chain, with the help of its produce company sponsors, has raised $130,000 for children's hospitals in its market area.

“Produce For Kids is one of the few organizations that allows us to give back in our own arena. There is no greater satisfaction than in helping children,” said Acme's produce director, Anthony Barbieri.

“Acme and Supervalu strongly believe in giving back to the communities we serve. It's embedded in our corporate culture.”

Colorful point-of-sale materials, supplied by PFK, will be used throughout Acme's produce departments, and fruits and vegetables supplied by participating sponsors will be highlighted so customers will know purchasing those items will generate a donation to children's organizations.

In addition to Acme, these other supermarket retail chains — each with eight to 10 supplier sponsors — will kick off chainwide Produce For Kids campaigns in June: the Southwest division of Kroger, Cincinnati; Price Chopper, Schenectady, N.Y.; Meijer, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Publix Super Markets, Lakeland, Fla.; and Giant Food, Carlisle, Pa.

“We're happy that even in this economy so many retailers and suppliers have chosen to participate this year,” Kari Volyn, PFK spokeswoman, told SN.

Created in 2002 by Shuman Produce, Reidsville, Ga., PFK helps segments of the fresh produce industry work together to raise funds for children's nonprofit organizations and to educate children and their families about the benefits of healthy eating.

Much of the money raised in the spring campaigns benefits local Children's Miracle Network hospitals in each participating retailer's market.

A fall Produce For Kids campaign benefits PBS Kids and supports educational programming and health initiatives for kids.

Since its inception in 2002, PFK has raised more than $1.9 million for children's organizations, including the Children's Miracle Network hospitals and PBS Kids.

The organization also provides elementary-school teachers with educational materials and interactive activities designed to teach kids about healthy eating.

This year, Acme has its largest number of produce supplier sponsors yet. They are: Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash.; Eurofresh Farms, Willcox, Ariz.; Mann Packing, Salinas, Calif.; Shuman Produce, Reidsville, Ga.; Family Tree Farms, Dinuba, Calif.; Fresh Express, Cincinnati; Del Monte Fresh, Coral Gables, Fla.; DNE World Fruit Sales, Fort Pierce, Fla.; Marie's (Ventura Foods), Brea, Calif.; and Custom Pak (UltraFresh), Immokalee, Fla.