Pink Lady America, headquartered in Yakima, WA, announced it is partnering with the Washington State Health Care Authority to promote the Apple Health for Kids program. Marketing Director Alan Taylor said Pink Lady held a special kickoff for the promotion on Aug. 7 at the 4th Street Theatre.
The program, created in 2010 and open for applications in 2011, is designed to provide free healthcare for children in families falling below 200 percent of the federal poverty level and low-premium coverage for families between 201 percent and 300 percent of the federal poverty index.
Mr. Taylor said a community coalition has banded together to heighten awareness about the program with Washington’s major fruit growers and shippers. “This is a service to the fruit industry itself. We’re not limiting it to anyone,” he told The Produce News on Aug. 8. “It fits with the number of people involved with the apple industry. My part will be to work with apple growers and shippers.”
“The bottom line is reaching out to uninsured children and their families,” said Health Care Authority Director Doug Porter. “Children are our future, and Washington state has a long tradition of making them and their healthcare one of our highest priorities.”
Mr. Taylor said he was at Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire’s office two years ago to discuss the Passport For Health program when he first heard about Apple Health For Kids. “Anytime we see children and apples linked together, with efforts directed toward healthy eating for young people, we like to be a part of it,” he stated.
With the exception of photocopying materials and distributing them, there are no costs associated with the program for shippers and growers.
According to Mr. Taylor, this program is expected to be the first step in a long-term educational effort called “Pink Lady Cares About Kids.” The campaign will discuss the positive role fruit plays in combating childhood obesity.
Mr. Taylor sees this partnership as a win-win for everyone involved. Persons seeking additional information about the program may contact him, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services or company human resource departments for more detailed information.