SALINAS, Calif., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Fresh Express, the world's largest salad maker, has partnered with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and NASCAR Team Rensi Motorsports to raise funds and awareness for healthy eating and the fight against breast cancer beginning October 2006, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. An estimated 211,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, according to the Komen Foundation. During October 2006, several of the most popular Fresh Express salads are being featured nationwide as part of the "Fresh Express Pink Ribbon In-store Campaign." With the purchase of specially marked Fresh Express packages at participating retailers, Fresh Express will donate 10 cents for each salad purchased to the Komen Foundation to support their important work in breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. Team Rensi Motorsports, and specifically NASCAR driver Regan Smith, will also join the cause by driving his No. 35 car sporting -- for the first time in NASCAR history -- a special Fresh Express logo and pink ribbon at the October 13 NASCAR Busch Series race at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC. In addition, the full roster of NASCAR race drivers will join Regan Smith on race day to "autograph" the pink-ribboned hood of the No. 35 car, which will later be auctioned to benefit the Komen Foundation. As a pioneer of the ready-to-eat fresh-cut produce category, Fresh Express is committed to providing consumers with the freshest and greatest variety of salads, fruits and vegetables, and experts tell us that diets rich in fruits and vegetables not only promote good health but also can help prevent certain types of cancer over a lifetime. "Fresh Express has a long history of supporting important health causes including cancer prevention, and as more and more women are enjoying NASCAR and motor sports, this is a perfect opportunity to partner with Komen Foundation and NASCAR's Team Rensi to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer programs," said Michelle Weech, Director of Marketing for Fresh Express. "A key to our success at the Komen Foundation is that we collaborate with a variety of organizations to provide creative ways for people to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer," said Cindy Schneible, vice president of resource development at the Komen Foundation. "We are proud to have the opportunity to partner with Fresh Express to increase breast cancer awareness and allow cooks nationwide to make a valuable contribution to breast cancer research and community outreach programs." This cause has significant meaning to Team Rensi Motorsports and the NASCAR industry as a whole. "The pink ribbon symbolizes survival for me and my family," said Regan Smith. "My aunt is one of the fortunate women who has come out a survivor in the fight against this terrible disease, and I am thrilled to put my support behind finding a cure." The pink ribbon is the international symbol for breast cancer awareness. Over 2 million women in the U.S. are breast cancer survivors. "We are very excited to partner with Fresh Express in support of this vital foundation to raise money and awareness for breast cancer," said Ronnie Russell, President of Team Rensi Motorsports. "Women are very special to the NASCAR industry-not only the wives, mothers, sisters and aunts of our family of drivers but also the thousands and thousands of female fans that cheer for us every week." This important October 13 NASCAR venue will reach millions of fans, including its 42% female population. This number has risen in the past 10 years from just 35%. According to health experts, people who consume the recommended 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of disease including certain types of cancer. Fresh Express, a subsidiary of Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB), has been a leader in fresh foods for more than 80 years and is dedicated to providing consumers with healthy, convenient ready-to-eat spinach, salads, vegetables and fruits. With the invention of its special Keep Crisp bag beginning in the early 1980s, Fresh Express pioneered the retail packaged salad category and was the first to make them available nationwide. Over 20 million consumers enjoy Fresh Express salads, spinach and greens every week. For more information, please visit http://www.freshexpress.com. The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. Today, the Foundation is an international organization with a network of more than 75,000 volunteers working through local Affiliates and events like the Komen Race for the Cure(R) to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. A global leader in the fight against breast cancer, the Foundation fulfills its mission through support of innovative breast cancer research grants, meritorious awards and educational, scientific and community outreach programs around the world. Together with its Affiliate Network, corporate partners and generous donors, the Komen Foundation has raised $750 million for the fight against breast cancer. For more information about breast health or breast cancer, visit the Foundation's award-winning Web site at http://www.komen.org or call the Foundation's National Toll-Free Breast Care Helpline at 1.800 I'M AWARE(R) (1.800.462.9273). Team Rensi Motorsports operates two full-time NASCAR Busch Series Racing Teams, the No. 25, Team Marines Ford Focus, driven by Ashton Lewis, Jr., and the No. 35, McDonald's Ford Focus, driven by Regan Smith. For more information on Team Rensi Motorsports, please visit http://www.teamrensimotorsports.com.
SOURCE Fresh Express