As funding for public education is cut teachers often are faced with the choice of spending their own money for supplies or providing less palatable lessons for students. On March 7, teachers at Sun City Elementary School in Bossier, La., got a taste of their efforts when their students munched on fresh fruits and played games that taught them about nutrition.

Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. delivered the fruit and games because the school was a top winner in the company’s contest “Teacher Monday: Cash for Classrooms,” according to a news release.

Seven teachers at the school secured thousands of online votes. Del Monte gave each teacher $750 in cash for supplies and $250 in fresh fruit coupons for classroom snacks. More than 525 students at the school will benefit.

“The Del Monte Fresh Produce contest was great for us because it did not involve hours of grant writing. With the help of Facebook, friends and family our teachers got people all over the country and internationally to vote for them online to win,” said Kim Tuminello, vice principal.

The online contest is scheduled again for the 2011-12 school year. Teacher registration will begin this summer and the contest will begin in September. For contest news, go to

“Our mission is to help schoolchildren eat and live healthier and what better way to do that than provide them with this fun event,” Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing for North America Del Monte Fresh Produce, said in the release.

Del Monte takes fruit to school

Courtesy Del Monte

Students at Sun City Elementary School in Bossier, La., enjoy fruit and games compliments of the Del Monte "Teacher Monday: Cash for Classrooms" contest.