Annie`s launches `Root 4 Kids` Campaign encouraging kids nationwide to dig real food

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Annie's, maker of all-natural and organic comfort foods, snacks and cereals, today announced the launch of 'Root 4 Kids,' a cause-related campaign calling upon parents and teachers nationwide to help kids 'dig' or learn about new vegetables in fall 2010 and plant new vegetables in spring 2011.

Annie's goal: one million kids digging and planting new veggies now through harvest 2011. To help reach this goal, Annie's is partnering with the National Farm to School Network, a nationally recognized organization that connects more than 10,000 schools across America with local farms to provide healthy food in cafeterias, nutrition education in classrooms and hands-on learning through school gardens.

'Families everywhere face complex food-related issues, ranging from increasing rates of obesity to diabetes to hunger to low quality school lunches and snacks,' said Sarah Bird, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Annie’s. 'As a company deeply committed to nurturing healthy kids and families, Annie's created Root 4 Kids to inspire kids to eat more real food, while providing parents and teachers with resources to help spark conversations about why real food matters.'

The “Root 4 Kids” Movement
To join the Root 4 Kids movement, parents, teachers and kids are invited to take the pledge at Root4Kids.com. By declaring 'I Root 4 Kids,' individuals commit to completing at least one activity, such as learning about, eating and planting new veggies, or working to get more fresh foods into schools.

The Root 4 Kids website is a family-friendly and school/educator-friendly destination with resources for participating in each of these activities.

Specific Root 4 Kids website features include:

  • A community garden that tracks pledges by allowing people to plant a virtual veggie, then locate their and other plants in a virtual garden that serves as a visual representation of Root 4 Kids participation nationwide.
  • An 'Eat' section that shares fun veggie recipes, resources to locate veggies and information about real food, farmers markets and why veggies are good for us.
  • A 'Dig' section that serves as a hub for finding seeds, garden resources and information about organic gardening.
  • A 'Love' section with resources and tools for teachers and parents looking to teach kids about the benefits of growing and eating healthy foods.
  • A 'Play' section with educational games, coloring pages and veggie quizzes for kids.

Other areas of the site include user profiles, where people can save photos, quiz results, videos, and more; and 'share your story' pages where parents, teachers and kids can learn from and share their experiences with others throughout the nation.

The Contest
To encourage participation and create friendly competition, Annie's will award the school with the most Root 4 Kids pledges by December 31, 2010 with their choice of a garden, a new Farm to School program or gardening supplies for one year. In addition, for every 1,000 Root 4 Kids pledges Annie's receives, it will contribute funds toward a garden or Farm to School program in an underprivileged school.

'Root 4 Kids is all about helping kids learn about and access more real food,' said Bird. 'By awarding a winning school with a garden or Farm to School program, we're directly connecting kids with fresh vegetables, and providing them education on where food comes from. We want to extend this benefit to as many communities as possible, so we're proud to be able to help fund gardens and Farm to School programs in underprivileged areas as well.'

About Annie's Homegrown
Annie’s Homegrown offers delicious, all-natural and organic alternatives to traditional comfort foods and snacks. Since Annie Withey founded the company in 1989, Annie's has been dedicated to delivering great-tasting, easy-to-prepare products that are healthy for people and the planet. Today the portfolio includes pasta meals, crackers, grahams, cereals and fruit snacks made with straight-from-nature ingredients. Annie’s Homegrown products are available nationwide at major grocery stores, natural food stores and club stores. For more information, visit www.Annies.com. Annie's is also on Twitter (www.twitter.com/annieshomegrown) and Facebook (www.Facebook.com/annieshomegrown)

Annie's, Inc.
Annie's Homegrown is a wholly owned subsidiary of Annie’s, Inc., a family of natural and organic brands that also includes leading dressing and condiment brand Annie's Naturals. The company has a long tradition of social and corporate responsibility, and believes in the importance of sustainable farming practices that respect the earth and its inhabitants. Visit www.AnniesInc.com to learn more.

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