Dollar General and Bayer are joining forces to launch a campaign to help K-12 school districts around the country provide nutritional support for kids and their families outside of traditional school hours.
Through this partnership, students receive a coupon for fresh produce, redeemable at local Dollar General stores that now offer fresh fruit and vegetables. The collaboration was also developed to coincide with National School Lunch Week, Oct. 9-13, which celebrates the importance of a healthy school lunch and the role of school nutrition professionals to provide well-balanced meals to students throughout the United States.
“When we think about children’s nutrition, we recognize that schools and those involved in the daily preparation and delivery of nutritious and delicious meals are the true stars in helping to reduce childhood hunger,” said Inci Dannenberg, president of Bayer Vegetable Seeds. “We can’t achieve Bayer’s mission of ‘Health for All, Hunger for None’ alone, so partnerships like this are critical to breaking down barriers and helping families, beyond the school, access nutritious choices for their kids.”
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As one of the country's largest life-sciences companies with leading businesses across health and nutrition, Bayer is committed to tending to the communities to help increase access to health and nutrition. Bayer and Dollar General are offering families 50% off any one fresh produce item ($5 or less) and $2 off any Bayer Flintstones Vitamins through Nov. 30, 2023.
With approximately 75% of the U.S. population located within five miles of a Dollar General store, the company is committed to addressing food insecurity and increasing accessibility to nutritious foods. As of Q2 2023, DG offers fruits and vegetables in more than 4,400 stores with plans to offer produce in more than 10,000 total stores over the next several years, with a meaningful number of them in the current United States Department of Agriculture defined food deserts.
“Dollar General’s mission is Serving Others, and we understand millions of Americans and their families rely on us to provide convenient access to affordable and nutritious foods. Through our unique store footprint DG is able to make a difference in helping address hunger in our hometown communities,” said Emily Taylor, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Dollar General.
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Connections to schools giving out the 100,000 coupons were facilitated in collaboration with the International Fresh Produce Association, a trade association for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry, which works with leading school nutrition programs across the country and advocates for increasing children’s access to fresh fruit and vegetables at school.
School districts and organizations receiving the produce coupons are in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
While the health benefits of fruits and vegetables are many, only one in 10 adults in the United States is getting enough produce in their daily diet. Across the globe, 60 to 87% of adults are falling short of the recommended daily intake. The World Health Organization recommends adults consume a minimum of 400 grams or five servings of fruits and vegetables per day to lead a healthy and nutritious life.
“We are pleased to be part of this creative collaboration,” said Andrew Marshall, wholesaler-distributor relations and external partnerships at International Fresh Produce Association. “Together, we’re supporting a new opportunity to make fresh produce more readily available in communities, while also highlighting the important role that schools and school nutrition professionals can play to reach children and families with fresh produce.”