The Kohl’s Healthy Choices for Healthy Families program at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital has kicked off its 2012 nutrition and physical activity awareness campaign. To help fuel the effort, a representative of Kohl’s stores across central Pennsylvania presented the children’s hospital with a check for $216,250. The event was held in conjunction with the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion’s annual Apple Crunch Celebration at South Hanover Elementary School. Celebrated during National Apple Month, Apple Crunch promotes healthy snacking. The event encourages children and their families to eat apples and apple products (applesauce, juice and cider) as a healthy snack. Representatives from Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion, along with members of the Hershey Bears Hockey Club and their mascot, Coco the Bear, were in attendance to teach kids about nutrition and physical activity.
“Obesity rates in children continue to rise in the United States,” said Gil Pak, operations director for Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. “Thanks to funding from Kohl’s, we’re able to raise awareness and educate youth and families on the importance of making healthy choices.”
Since 2006, Kohl’s has donated $1,118,400 to the Children’s Hospital. The money supports programs for advancing nutrition and activity awareness in the community. This year, the Kohl’s Healthy Choices for Healthy Families program focused on community outreach, including sponsored healthy activities at the Central Penn Parent Family Favorites Festival. The Kohl’s Healthy Choices for Healthy Families program will also visit various community events throughout the year. Funding will also support the development of the Kohl’s Healthy Families Guide, enhancements to the Kohl’s Healthy Families webpage (www.kohlshealthyfamilies.org) with free downloadable resources for families, and a TV, Web and print campaign to encourage families to live healthy, active lives.
Kohl’s commitment to Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital is made possible through the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and plush toys where 100 percent of net profit benefits children’s health and education programs nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one. Kohl’s has raised more than $180 million dollars through this merchandise program. In addition to the merchandise program, Kohl’s Cares features the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program, which last year recognized more than 2,100 young volunteers with a total of $410,000 in scholarships and prizes. Through Kohl’s Associates in Action volunteer program, more than 500,000 associates have donated more than 1.6 million hours of their time since 2001 and Kohl’s has donated more than $47 million to youth-focused nonprofit organizations. Kohl’s also offers fundraising gift cards for schools and youth-serving organizations.