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HOCKESSIN, DE -- The Produce for Better Health Foundation is applauds the launch of the Lunchbox Winners Produce Program by Safeway Inc., one of the nation's larger supermarket chains.

The program will be featured in 1,523 stores across the nation. The goal of the new program is to offer parents an easy solution for school lunches and snack ideas that are better for kids and easy for parents. The inspiration for the program came from Safeway's desire to support the Fruits & Veggies- More Matters Program and first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign to help raise a generation of active, healthy children.

"We are thrilled to see Lunchbox Winners, a fantastic example of how retailers can get 'hands on' with the effort to raise a generation of kids that are eating right and staying active," Elizabeth Pivonka, president and chief executive officer of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, said in a Sept. 8 press release.

Throughout the school year, Lunchbox Winners will feature a different professional athlete who will encourage children to eat well and stay active. Shoppers will find new booklets in the stores each month with simple snack and lunchbox recipes plus tips from the athletes on fun ways to stay active. All the featured products for these easy-to-prepare recipes will be displayed in the produce department.

The program will also include an interactive web site, www.lunchboxwinners.com, for both parents and kids. The web site will feature additional recipes and information from featured athletes, including an "Ask the Athlete a Question" section, as well as links to additional resources for parents at www.FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org and www.LetsMove.gov. The initiative will be promoted by in-store radio and point-of -sale materials.

"We are committed to helping our customers meet their nutrition and dietary goals, which is why we are excited to launch Lunchbox Winners," Steve Burnham, Safeway's vice president and general manager of corporate produce, said in the release. "This program gives our customers great ideas to prepare nutritious and delicious lunches for their children. It is also why we will continue to support Fruits and Veggies-More Matters public health initiative to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables and Let's Move."

Ms. Pivonka added, "The Lunchbox Winners program and web site, which launches in September, will help motivate people to add more healthy fruits and vegetables to their meals and snacks along with giving them effective tools to help them do so. This program supports America's More Matters Pledge: 'fruits and veggies --today and every day,’ our on-line pledge campaign that encourages people to pledge to eat more nutritious fruits and vegetables for their better health."

September's Lunchbox Winners presents Olympic soccer star Brandi Chastain, who shares her favorite post-workout snack and some soccer drills guaranteed to improve anyone's game. In October, the program will feature Dominique Dawes, three-time Olympic gymnast and co-chairman of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The program will recess for the holiday season and will return in January.