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The Produce Mom® creates employment opportunities for teenagers with disabilities

The Produce Mom®, a produce advocacy brand and media outlet focused on educating about the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, is helping provide paid jobs for high school students with disabilities. Through a partnership with United Media Now Productions, an Indianapolis-based video production company that employs high school students with and without disabilities, a group of talented teens has produced over 80 recipe videos for The Produce Mom.

United Media began as "Sarah's Great Day," a YouTube show started by Valerie Strohl in 2012 to help teach her daughter Sarah—who has Down's syndrome and was struggling in school—about math through cooking. She approached her local Zionsville, Indiana school district to seek help from high school students with and without disabilities who were interested in digital video and audio production. To her delight, two knowledgeable students joined the production team. 

Produce Mom Lori Taylor with Sarah and Valerie Strohl from Sarah's Great Day

"My goal with 'Sarah's Great Day' was to change the culture and perception of people with disabilities," explained Strohl. "Through United Media's partnership with The Produce Mom, we have made great strides towards our mission. 

The symbiotic partnership began in August 2015, shortly after Lori Taylor, Founder & CEO of The Produce Mom, met with Strohl to brainstorm how their Central Indiana-based businesses, with national followings and impact, could work together. A fast-growing woman-owned business, The Produce Mom needed a reliable resource to produce high-quality recipe videos. 

"In the produce industry, sustainability is everything," said Taylor. "Through partnership with United Media, The Produce Mom promotes fresh produce with sustainability by empowering teens with jobs and life-sustaining career skills. 

United Media's program with The Produce Mom is now an official part of the curriculum at Zionsville Community High School, giving students the ability to earn school credit or receive a competitive and equitable wage. 

The partnership between the companies also helps The Produce Mom achieve its mission of increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables. "Our tagline is 'There's a produce mom in all of us!'" said Taylor. 

The Produce Mom and United Media have produced videos for Chelan Fresh, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Josie's Organics, Kroger, Mann's, Monterey Mushrooms, Military Produce Group, NatureSweet Tomatoes, Naturipe, North Bay Produce, Ocean Mist Farms, Pink Lady Apples, Sage Fruit, Salad Savoy, USA Pears, Wada Farms and The National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Lori Taylor 
The Produce Mom® 
Tel: (313) 373-1881 
Valerie Strohl 
United Media Now Productions 
Tel: (317) 752-0988 
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