About four years ago Common Ground C0-op began offering free fruit to children who visited the Urbana store as part of a broader initiative.
Now it appears some other grocery stores have joined in.
Two Champaign stores, Schnucks and Harvest Market, are offering free fruit to kids upon their arrival. Grocery chains in other markets have adopted a similar program, aimed to encourage healthy eating among a segment of the population that, well, would probably rather have a cupcake.
“It’s part of our Explorers program,” said Sarah Buckman, Common Grounds’ outreach coordinator. “A lot of co-ops have the same type of program.”
The Explorers program includes a membership card, stickers and free fruit when visiting. Parents who opt in to special emails about kids’ programming also receive a coupon for free cookies during the month of the child’s birthday.
Buckman said the program is guided toward kids 11 and under, though “we accept any kids,” she said.
At Common Ground, kids can get one free piece of fruit, typically an apple, upon arriving.
Other stores have similar approaches.
At Schnucks in Champaign, kids under 10 with an adult can get one free piece of fruit. At Harvest Market, a basket of oranges is offered with a suggestion of “one piece per child per visit.”