(Sept. 10) John Shuman’s son, Luke, might be considered the million-dollar baby.

It was because of the quality hospital attention Luke received as an infant that Shuman, president of Shuman Produce Inc., Reidsville, Ga., decided in 2002 to launch Produce for Kids, which generates funds for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals nationwide.

Seven years after Luke’s trip to the hospital, Produce for Kids (found at www.produceforkids.org), which encourages a healthful lifestyle among children, has raised more than $1 million since it began, thanks to $415,000 garnered through the organization’s record-breaking spring campaign, Shuman said.

“The million dollars is only possible because of the overwhelming support from sponsors and retailers,” Shuman said. “It’s a great opportunity to unite the produce industry, and together we can make a difference.”

During the 2007 spring campaign — which took place in May and June — Produce for Kids received sponsorship from 28 suppliers and support from eight retail chains, totaling nearly 2,000 stores in 23 states, said Jen Velasquez, account associate for marketing firm Sahlman Williams, Tampa, Fla.

The promotion, themed “Get Healthy, Give Hope,” lasts for 30 days in the spring and fall. The money is raised through suppliers, who make a per-unit or -box donation for each of their sponsored products that are shipped to participating grocery stores, Shuman said.

The retailers’ responsibility is to run feature advertisements for the participating sponsors’ items and display promotional material in a high-traffic area, he said.

“It’s a way to increase incremental sales and raise funds for a much-needed cause,” Shuman said. “That’s why it’s such a unique organization.”

The Produce for Kids’ fall campaign begins Oct. 1, Shuman said.