Dole Food Company, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, and Healthy Kids Georgia Partner to Improve Early Childhood

  Dole Food Company, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, and
  Healthy Kids Georgia Partner to Improve Early Childhood Nutrition Standards

Business Wire

ATLANTA -- December 14, 2012

Today, Dole Food Company (NYSE: DOLE) and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s Healthy
Kids Georgia Program announced a partnership with the Georgia Department of
Early Care and Learning (DECAL) to promote good nutrition and increased
physical activity in early childcare and education programs.

“Georgia’s childhood obesity epidemic is too large for any one organization or
person to address alone. We must work together to collaboratively present our
children and families with healthy lifestyle options so we can bring about
real change and tackle this daunting challenge,” said Lt. Governor Casey
Cagle. “Innovative public-private partnerships, like the one we are launching
today, that bring together state, private, and community resources to confront
the troubling trends we face in childhood obesity will have a lasting impact
on future generations.”

The new program, called Quality Rated, is Georgia’s newly implemented quality
rating and improvement system. Programs voluntarily participating in Quality
Rated receive points by demonstrating commitment to five program standards,
including child health, nutrition and physical activity. Standard 2 offers
early care and education programs the opportunity to reflect on their current
health and nutrition standards and identify areas that can be improved. Points
are assessed for this standard based on the completion of the Nutrition and
Physical Activity Assessment; written improvement plans with documentation of
actions taken to complete the plans; and evidence that the program has met
each of the requirements listed for the standard.

“This is the third year of our partnership with the Lt. Governor and Healthy
Kids Georgia and the DECAL program is the most comprehensive element to date,”
said Marty Ordman, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Dole Food
Company. “Quality Rated rewards early childhood education program that are
meeting important nutrition standards and we’re honored to help projects hit
these goals by exposing young students to more fruits and vegetables on a
daily basis.”

As many schools are scaling back their implementation of the Healthy
Hunger-Free Kids Act, Georgia is providing incentives to schools that are
working to serve better food to their students. Research shows that children
must be exposed to vegetables 10 to 12 times before they will eat them on
their own. Programs that increase this exposure in new settings will help
young people develop healthy eating habits that they will carry with them well
into adulthood.

“We know that even our youngest learners need to start understanding why
healthy food choices and exercise lead to a path of a lifelong health and
well-being,” said Bobby Cagle, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Early Care
and Learning. “That is why the Dole Food Company and Lieutenant Governor
Cagle’s Healthy Kids Georgia Program are going to make a real difference as
they recognize Quality Rated child care programs that are committed to making
health, nutrition and physical activity a priority. Public-private
partnerships like this play a vitally important role in helping us meet our
goals of nurturing Georgia’s youngest children, keeping them safe and healthy,
and enriching their lives.”

About Dole Food Company

Dole, with 2011 net revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world’s largest producer
and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the
leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged
and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and

About Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning

Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is
responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s
children and their families. It administers the nationally recognized
Georgia’s Pre-K Program, licenses child care centers and home-based child
care, administers Georgia's Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program,
federal nutrition programs, and manages voluntary quality enhancement

The department also houses the Head Start State Collaboration Office,
distributes federal funding to enhance the quality and availability of child
care, and works collaboratively with Georgia child care resource and referral
agencies and organizations throughout the state to enhance early care and
education. For more information, go to

About Healthy Kids Georgia

An initiative of Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, the Lt. Governor’s Healthy Kids
Georgia is a collaboration of the Office of Lieutenant Governor, the Alliance
for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program, and other corporate and
community partners. Formed in 2010 to address the epidemic levels of childhood
obesity in Georgia and the serious physical and emotional consequences of the
problem, the program encourages schools to partner with their local
communities and the Healthy Schools program to confront the childhood obesity
crisis by implementing health and wellness programs in Georgia’s schools.
Additionally, through Public Private Partnerships, Healthy Kids Georgia is the
conduit for corporate support strategies to be implemented throughout the
state upholding the mission to promote healthy lifestyles.

About The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Formed in 1995, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation promotes innovative
solutions to improve the lives of youth and their families, seeking results
that move communities beyond what seems possible today. The Foundation invests
in early childhood development, education, green space, and the arts and leads
giving programs for each of the Blank Family of Businesses, including the
Atlanta Falcons. Mr. Blank co-founded The Home Depot, the world’s largest home
improvement retailer, in 1978 and retired from the company as co-chairman in
2001. Through the foundation and his family’s personal giving, Mr. Blank has
granted more than $250 million to various charitable organizations. Visit the
Foundation web site for more information at

About YMCA Metro Atlanta

The Y is a powerful association of men, women and children joined together by
a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy
living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Every day, we work
side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure everyone, regardless of age,
income or background, has the opportunity to learn grow and connect. Visit or call 404-588-YMCA (9622).


Dole Food Company
Marty Ordman, 818-874-4834
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.