Oxnard, Calif.-based San Miguel Produce Inc. plans to mark National Kale Day Oct. 1 with a sampling effort across Ventura County dubbed “Give ‘em kale!”

Locations remain tentative — shopping areas and busy intersections are candidates — but the grower-shipper is committed to sending out 10 to 12 groups of staff for the giveaway, said Megan Ichimoto, marketing coordinator.

“We’re going to be handing out free bunches of kale to anyone who walks by for two to three hours in the morning,” Ichimoto said. “That’s our push to help bring awareness to kale. Maybe people have never seen it or don’t want to buy it, and this will give them an easy way to get a bunch and a recipe and try it without having to pay.”

San Miguel offers kale products under the Cut ‘N Clean Greens label. Ichimoto believes kale demand and consumption will keep rising.

“It’s a trendy item now, but for a good reason,” she said. “The health benefits are amazing and people are catching on. Two or three years ago it was a southern green, a very cultural food, and now it’s becoming mainstream. Retailers are seeing that. It’s not at its peak, it’s still getting there.”

The unofficial holiday was founded by Drew Ramsey, M.D., and chef Jennifer Iserloh, authors of the book “50 Shades of Kale.” For the second annual event, a kale citrus salad is expected to be served to more than 1 million students in New York City public schools.

In addition to San Miguel Produce, growers WP Rawl and Lady Moon Farms are promoting National Kale Day.

“Together with the organizers of National Kale Day, we are developing recipes and video content that we will share directly with consumers in our newsletter and social media, as well as through retail channels,” said Ashley Rawl, vice president of marketing, sales and product development for WP Rawl. “We are offering retailers across the country graphics and messaging for their weekly ads, as well as social media content to share directly with their customers.”