The Makers Of Hidden Valley(R) Ranch Dressings Announce Love Your Veggies(TM) Nationwide School Lunch Campaign National Grant Campaign Launches During 60th Anniversary of National School

Lunch Week to Support Federally Mandated Local Wellness Policy



    OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- As schools across the nation
 push to meet the new federally-mandated Local Wellness Policy aimed at
 improving nutrition and creating health-based standards, the makers of
 Hidden Valley(R) ranch dressings, owned by The Clorox Company (NYSE:   CLX)
 based in Oakland, have pledged to help.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20061010/CGTU061 )
     The makers of Hidden Valley(R) ranch dressings announced today the Love
 Your Veggies(TM) Nationwide School Lunch Campaign, an initiative that will
 provide $15,000 grants to five public elementary schools in the United
 States to support increased access to, and consumption of, fresh
 vegetables.
     "The Local Wellness Policy is a critical and positive step toward
 improved children's health and promotion of healthy behaviors," says Lisa
 Partnoy, marketing manager of Hidden Valley(R) ranch dressings. "But in
 order for a policy like this to succeed, it must be met with strong action
 and support -- from government to educators to parents to the community.
 Our grant program is one way we can help our schools."
     Millions of students nationwide consume lunch at school daily. And, for
 many children, it is the most important meal of the day, contributing one-
 third to one-half of their nutritional intake, according to USDA. With the
 significance of lunch in a student's diet and added pressure from the
 policy, schools often struggle with how to meet the new guidelines.
     "One solution is to look at how to enhance cafeteria meals to provide
 greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables," says registered dietician
 Jodie Shield, a complemental faculty member of the College of Health
 Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in
 Chicago. According to Shield, about 80 percent of children and adolescents
 do not eat the minimum recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
     "Increased produce consumption is instrumental in improving a child's
 long-term health," adds Shield. "Meeting USDA guidelines for fruit and
 vegetable intake can help with weight control; decrease risk of heart
 disease, some types of cancer and diabetes; and help address issues with
 lack of fiber, potassium and other important nutrients. The Hidden Valley
 grant campaign helps to address the significant shortage of produce in
 children's diets."
     The Hidden Valley(R) Love Your Veggies(TM) Nationwide School Lunch
 Campaign was created based on findings from a recent study with two
 Northern California elementary schools conducted by the University of
 California Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the
 Butte County Cooperative Extension. One of the most significant findings
 from the study was that children consumed 23 percent more vegetables when
 paired with a moderate amount of ranch dressing.
     "It's not surprising that a flavor enhancer, like ranch dressing, can
 make veggie eating more enjoyable for kids," says Shield. "Many parents
 struggle with getting their kids to eat vegetables, so this is a great way
 to help them meet their recommended daily allowance."
     Makers of Hidden Valley(R) Ranch Dressings Start with Help to
 Neighboring School
     For the development and implementation of the grant program, the makers
 of Hidden Valley(R) ranch dressings have partnered with EFNEP and the
 School Nutrition Association (SNA), a national, non-profit professional
 organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide
 high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Grant funding
 must be spent toward equipment for a vegetable station, fresh produce
 (vegetables and fruits), program staffing (to run the vegetable station), a
 training course for school personnel given by their local EFNEP
 representative on how to create a healthy and nutritious environment in
 school, and nutrition education supplies.
     To kick off the grant program, the makers of Hidden Valley(R) ranch
 dressings are helping a school in their own backyard. The company today
 donated a vegetable station and $15,000 toward training and its long-term
 maintenance to Sequoia Elementary School, an Oakland school with a
 population of nearly 350 children.
     The Hidden Valley brand team is proud to give a grant to Sequoia
 Elementary," said Partnoy. "The staff is eager to develop ways to
 effectively sustain this program in the future.
     Schools can apply for a grant now through December 15, 2006.
 Applications will be qualified and judged by Shield as well as
 representatives from EFNEP and the SNA. Grant recipients will be announced
 in January 2007 with vegetable stations implemented soon after. Public
 schools can secure a grant application for The Hidden Valley(R) Love Your
 Veggies(TM) Nationwide School Lunch Campaign by visiting
 http://www.schoolnutrition.org/veggiegrant .
     Nutrition Awareness Beyond the Lunch Room
     A new study presented at the recent American Dietetic Association's
 Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition found that students may not
 necessarily eat more vegetables by virtue of the salad bar alone if the
 changes in the cafeteria are not supported by nutrition education in the
 classroom. Researchers at Loyola University and the University of Illinois
 at Chicago found that salad bar use soars when teachers support the new
 cafeteria addition with lessons on nutrition.
     To address this issue, the makers of Hidden Valley(R) ranch dressings
 have partnered with Discovery Education, creators of innovative teaching
 materials and resources for students, to distribute thousands of classroom
 kits to elementary schools nationwide and grant recipient schools. Focused
 on the theme of "Super Veggies," students will learn why some foods are
 better than others and how exercise is an important part of any healthful
 eating plan. A microsite with the entire curriculum kit will be available
 online.
     The Clorox Company
     The Clorox Company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer
 products with fiscal year 2006 revenues of $4.6 billion. Clorox markets
 some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its
 namesake bleach and cleaning products, 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, and Glad(R) bags, wraps and containers.
 With 7,600 employees worldwide, the company manufactures products in 25
 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 $66.3 million to nonprofit organizations, schools
 and colleges; and in fiscal 2006 alone made product donations valued at $6
 million. For more information about Clorox, visit
 http://www.TheCloroxCompany.com .
     About the School Nutrition Association
     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. The
 Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and
 nutritious meals. 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.
 
 

SOURCE Hidden Valley(R) ranch dressings

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