Valley Children’s and Vallarta Supermarkets Launch Free Fruit Program Monday

Children eating apples

(Madera, Calif.) – For a second year in a row, Valley Children’s Healthcare is partnering with Vallarta Supermarkets in Fresno to provide free fruit to children this summer. A program of the new Valley Children’s Guilds Center for Community Health, the “Kids Eat Smart” campaign is aimed at increasing access to fresh fruit for children during the summer months, when they may not have regular or affordable access to healthy food.

Beginning Monday, July 27, Vallarta stores in Fresno, Tulare, Visalia and Porterville will provide free fruit to all children,12 years and younger. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the fruit will be individually wrapped and handed out by cashiers during check out.

The Valley Children’s Guilds Center for Community Health hopes to increase consumption of healthy food, which research shows leads to better health outcomes. 42% of fifth graders in the Central Valley are overweight or obese and one of the biggest obstacles they face is lack of access to affordable and healthy foods.

“Access to fresh fruit and vegetables is a real challenge for many children living in the Central Valley, particularly for communities of color, and COVID-19 has unfortunately increased this need,” says Simran Kaur, director of the Valley Children’s Guilds Center for Community Health. “We hope this program will provide much needed resources for children and families and raise awareness about a growing issue in our area.”

“For 35 years, Vallarta Supermarkets has taken pride in providing families with fresh, top quality groceries, and our goal is to see families growing happy and healthy,” says Vallarta Supermarkets VP of Marketing Andrew Lewis. “Working together with Valley Children’s aligns perfectly with our own mission to encourage families to consume healthy and fresh fruits. The Kids Eat Smart initiative provides an easy and effective way for children in the Central Valley to enjoy fresh fruits, building healthy and long-lasting habits.”

Vallarta stores offering the program are:

  • Cedar and Dakota: 3850 N Cedar Ave, Fresno, CA 93726
  • Clinton and 99: 1951 W Clinton Ave, Fresno, CA 93705
  • Butler and Chestnut: 4831 E Butler Ave, Fresno, CA 93727
  • Porterville: 305 E. Olive Ave, Porterville, CA 93257
  • Tulare: 1111 N. Cherry St, Tulare, CA 93274
  • Visalia: 3112 Dinuba Blvd, Visalia, CA 93291

Last summer, more than 3,000 pieces of fruit were distributed.

This year’s free fruit program runs through August.

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