OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its continuing efforts to help schools instill a life-long love of vegetables in children, the makers of Hidden Valley(R) Salad Dressings have announced the fourth annual Love Your Veggies(TM) grant program, an initiative that will provide $10,000 grants to 10 public elementary schools in the United States to support increased access to and consumption of fresh produce during school meals.
In partnership with School Nutrition Foundation, the Love Your Veggies(TM) grant program aims to help schools fund the implementation of fresh fruit and vegetable education programs in the lunchroom and in the classroom following the 2004 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, which required school districts to adopt local school wellness policies to strengthen nutrition and physical activity programs(1).
In addition to the 10 grants, the Love Your Veggies(TM) grant program will also award another $10,000 grant to an elementary school through a Twitter contest set to run Sept. 21-Oct. 2. Elementary schools will be asked to tweet their 140 character application--which can include a link to a Web site or photo--to @HVRanch and then launch a re-tweet campaign for their chance to win. Twitter applications will be judged separately from the full grant program and schools are encouraged to submit applications for both grants. Full rules and regulations on the Twitter contest will be available at http://bit.ly/lyvtw or LoveYourVeggies.com Sept. 21, 2009.
"Understanding that 96 percent of children 2 to 12 years of age fall short of the recommended 2-5 cups of daily fruit and vegetables(2), we hope to help bridge that gap and encourage more kids to grow their knowledge and appreciation of vegetables," said Priscilla Tuan, brand manager for Hidden Valley(R) products. "Particularly at a time when bringing fresh produce into schools remains costly and budgets are being diminished to meet the demands of a changing economy, we are excited to once again be able to affect positive changes in the lunchroom".
This year, the grants will be awarded to elementary schools nationwide that demonstrate creativity and innovation in their proposed vegetable programs, as well as a financial need. Schools may use their grant funds to implement creative and sustainable vegetable consumption programs, which may include fresh produce, program staffing, and relevant training and nutrition education supplies.
Interested schools may apply for the full grant program beginning Aug. 17 through Nov. 6, 2009 by visiting the "Grant Program" section at LoveYourVeggies.com. Schools will be notified of their award status by Feb. 15, 2010 and a public announcement of all 10 winners will be made in April 2010.
Love Your Veggies(TM) Reaches Schools, Families and Communities
The Love Your Veggies(TM) campaign was inspired by a 2006 study conducted by the University of California that found that children consumed more vegetables when paired with a moderate amount of ranch dressing. Since then, it has aimed to help children develop a life-long love of vegetables by engaging and supporting the two most important daily influencers of childhood nutrition: parents and educators.
To date, the Hidden Valley(R) Love Your Veggies(TM) grant program has awarded $750,000 to elementary schools throughout the country for the implementation of fresh fruit and vegetable programs. Along with this commitment to making a difference at school, where children consume the most important meal of the day, the makers of Hidden Valley(R) Salad Dressings have also sought to increase awareness beyond the lunchroom by teaching parents how to involve kids in healthy eating experiences at home and in their communities.
To learn more about the Love Your Veggies(TM) campaign and to find kid-friendly recipes, activities and nutrition tips, or to play Veggie Adventures, visit LoveYourVeggies.com. For more information about Hidden Valley(R) Salad Dressings, visit HiddenValley.com, or find Hidden Valley(R) on Facebook(R) at Facebook.com/HiddenValley, or on Twitter at @HVRanch.
About Hidden Valley(R)
The HV Food Products Company is a subsidiary of The Clorox Company, headquartered in Oakland, Calif. Clorox is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products with fiscal year 2008 revenues of $5.3 billion. Clorox markets some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Green Works(TM) natural cleaners, Armor All(R) and STP(R) auto-care products, Fresh Step(R) and Scoop Away(R) cat litter, Kingsford(R) charcoal, Hidden Valley(R) and K C Masterpiece(R) dressings and sauces, Brita(R) water-filtration systems, Glad(R) bags, wraps and containers, and Burt's Bees(R) natural personal care products. With 8,300 employees worldwide, the company manufactures products in more than two dozen countries and markets them in more than 100 countries. Clorox is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where its employees work and live. Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has awarded cash grants totaling more than $73.9 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. In fiscal 2008 alone, the foundation awarded $4.2 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $10.2 million. For more information about Clorox, visit www.TheCloroxCompany.com.
About the School Nutrition Foundation
The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) empowers professional growth through the education, research, and scholarship it provides School Nutrition Association (SNA) members Along with SNA, the Foundation's number one priority is helping school nutrition professionals run successful and effective school nutrition programs and comply with USDA regulations. The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children's health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education. For more information on the School Nutrition Foundation, please visit www.schoolnutrition.org/snf.
- Congress passed the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, which requires that by the first day of the 2006 school year, each school district participating in the National School Lunch Program adopt local school wellness policies with the goal of improving children's health and reducing childhood obesity by expanding the availability of nutritious meals and snacks to more children in schools while also promoting increased activity. Policies should encourage consumption of healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables.
- The 2005 State of Plate report from Produce for Better Health Foundation and ACNielsen.
SOURCE Hidden Valley