Anyone with children knows the frustration of hungry kids begging for cupcakes at the supermarket. One Kroger Supermarket in Greenville, Ohio, has offered a unique and healthy approach to combat the problem of desperate little hands reaching for candy bars in the checkout lanes.
In September, the grocery store began offering free fruit to children under 12. The store’s manager, Barbara Matthews, said the idea was hatched by store associates, who raised the possibility during a meeting of the store’s “Inclusion Council.” During the meetings, associates from various departments brainstorm ways of improving employee retention, as well as increasing customer retention and engagement.
“Someone saw the idea elsewhere and asked if we could do this, and we decided to try it here,” she said. “So far it’s been very well received. We look at it as a healthy alternative for kids who come in the store, as opposed to, say, cookies.” 
When the “Fresh Fruit 4 Kids” stand went up, it immediately drew praise from the community, and word about the program spread like wildfire. They started by offering four varieties of apples and bananas, but Matthews said they’d eventually like to expand their offerings to youngsters as the seasons change. 
Matthews said the store plans to continue the program for the foreseeable future.
“Based on the feedback we’ve gotten from everyone so far, we plan to keep it up as long as the parents and kids continue to like it.”
No word on whether kids may choose organic fruit, but we certainly hope so. It’s just good to see a step in the right direction, and even better to see the community responding so positively.
Take notice: If you spend just 15 minutes watching any kind of children’s programming on TV, you’ll notice how bombarded youngsters are with junk food marketing . Over the past 30 years, childhood obesity rates in American have tripled, and nearly 1 in 3 kids are overweight or obese. Rather than fruits and veggies, those ads are for nothing but sugar-filled, artificially-colored breakfast cereal and fast food.
Let’s make the change to healthier influence on the people of the future.
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||Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.