Dole® Sunshine for All® Cities program along with its partners — the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of Merced County, and Partnership for a Healthier America - Expands Access to Affordable, Nutritious Food in Merced, CA
September 13, 2023
The Good Stuff Kiosk provides families in under-resourced communities with an assortment of healthy staple food items, both shelf-stable and refrigerated, priced to meet the needs of a limited budget and located at community hubs
PLANADA, CA, September 13, 2023 – As the Dole® Sunshine for All® Cities program continues to deliver on the Dole Promise to bring sustainable nutrition to all, today it announced the launch of the Good Stuff Kiosk in Merced, CA at Cesar E.Chavez Middle School. Funded by the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation and Dole Packaged Foods, and in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Merced County and Partnership for a Healthier America, the Good Stuff Kiosk will provide affordable, healthy food to families as they pick their children up from after school programs and will feature recipes using the food found in the Kiosk.
Merced is located within the San Joaquin Valley in California, a region known for its rich farmland and fresh crop production. While the area is responsible for producing much of the state’s agricultural bounty, Merced County’s child food insecurity rate is more than 27% – meaning more than 1 in 4 children in the area are experiencing hunger.*
“We’re thrilled to partner with Dole Sunshine for All Cities to bring this program to our families,” said See Lee, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Merced County. “Having spent many years working with disenfranchised youth in the area, I’ve seen firsthand how hunger can impact the wellbeing in the short and long term. I’m excited to see the positive effect the program will have on our club and beyond.”
The Good Stuff Kiosk is just one of a system of free-standing refrigerated food kiosks to be placed at Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the country that were announced at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health last September. Placing Good Stuff Kiosks at community hubs like after school programs run by the Boys & Girls Clubs in addition to initiatives like the Dole Kids Cooking Camp, will equip kids to navigate the challenges of food insecurity and nutrition education, with classes covering basic cooking skills, healthy recipe preparation, smart grocery shopping and meal planning tips.
“Everyone has the right to good food that helps them thrive and lead healthy lives. We call this Good Food for All and it’s at the core of what we do. This is just the beginning of a larger initiative to reach millions of children every day and will help catalyze change towards good food and healthier communities,” shared Jason Wilson, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Partnership for a Healthier America. “We look forward to seeing the program’s continued and lasting impact on communities like Merced, Baltimore and Jackson.”
The first four Good Food Kiosks were introduced in Jackson, MS in July 2023 and they have the potential to reach 4,800 people each day and provide access to healthy food. By 2028, the Good Stuff Kiosk program plans to grow to include more than 1,000 community hubs across the United States, with the potential to reach more than 3 million families each day.
“I have seen the impact of the Good Stuff Kiosk and cooking skills education programs firsthand at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi,” said Othor Cain, Sunshine for All® Cities Program Ambassador. “It’s essential to create opportunities for kids to experience cooking healthy and affordable meals at home with their families. It can create a lifelong impact.”
To learn more about the Dole Sunshine For All® Cities Program and its impact in Merced and beyond, visit dolesunshine.com.
About Boys & Girls Clubs Merced
The Boys & Girls Club of Merced County is part of one the largest and most impactful community organizations across America. We set out to serve youth, their families, and communities through evidence-based youth development programs. We are a non-profit organization that is working hard to fill in the gaps for our youth and it is our goal that every child graduates high school ready for opportunities in the workforce, vocational trade, post-secondary education, and/or the military.
About Dole Sunshine Company
The name Dole Sunshine Company is used to represent the global interests and combined efforts of Dole Asia Holdings, Dole Worldwide Packaged Foods and Dole Asia Fresh. Dole Sunshine Company is not an actual business entity and does not operate as such in any country or region. For more information on Dole Sunshine Company, please visit dolesunshine.com.
About Partnership for a Healthier America
Partnership for a Healthier America is the premier national nonprofit organization working to create lasting, systemic changes that transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity. PHA develops evidence-based approaches that are implemented in partnership with the private sector, nonprofits, and government, leveraging PHA’s assets and the partner’s knowledge to accelerate the pace of transformation. Learn more at www.ahealthieramerica.org.
About Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation drives a movement of people to respond, empower and unite communities to help ensure every child in the United States, especially those most at risk, grows up with dependable access to enough nutritious food to enable them to lead a healthy, productive life. The Foundation believes that empowering women and younger generations is at the heart of a better future and their collective power stems from volunteers, partners and the unique ecosystem of their founding partner, Sodexo. Visit Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation’s Linktree to connect to their social media channels and follow their impactful work throughout the year.
Dole Sunshine For All® Cities Program
*Merced County Food Bank