Carnival Foundation Pledges $300,000 to Children’s Medical Center

...Contribution to Boost Hospital’s Outreach for Kid’s Insurance Program

DALLAS.- The Carnival Foundation, the charitable arm of Minyard Food Stores, Inc., has pledged $300,000 to Children’s Medical Center Dallas to help the hospital educate families about Texas affordable health insurance program for kids.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Children’ss Medicaid provide low- or no-cost health insurance to children in families that cannot afford it. Families that qualify for CHIP will pay no more than $50 for six months of coverage for all of their children. Statewide, it is believed that 1.4 million Texas children are uninsured with an estimated 99,000 living in the North Texas region. Texas also has the highest rate of uninsured children (20.2%) in the nation, topping the U.S. average of 11.6%.

“Carnival, Minyard and Sack ‘n Save stores are visited every day by children across North Texas, and we feel a responsibility to the families in the neighborhoods that we serve,” said Michael D. Byars, chief executive officer for Minyard Food Stores of Coppell, Texas, which operates the foundation. “By supporting Children’s, we can help improve the healthcare of thousands of children every year.”

Children’s Medical Center is active in the Dallas Area CHIP Coalition to provide CHIP and Medicaid information to families. Carnival’s contribution will be used to provide personnel and educational materials to better inform parents about CHIP, with the goal of increasing coverage for children’s healthcare needs.

“Carnival’s gift will assist in helping better educate parents and families about these low or no-cost insurance plans, which means more children can receive the care they need and deserve,’ said Hudson Akin, executive vice president of development at Children’s. “In 2005 alone, Children’s provided more than $34 million in charity care, but with the help of generous corporate citizens, like Carnival, and the expanded educational opportunities available, this number could decrease in the future.”

The Carnival Foundation raises money through an annual golf tournament it sponsors and to which the company invites its vendors. This year’s event took place in October at Bear Creek Golf Club and hosted 74 four-member teams, sponsored by and comprised of vendors, brokers and distributors.

About Children’s

Medical Center

Children’s Medical Center Dallas is private, not-for-profit, and is the only academic healthcare facility in North Texas dedicated to the comprehensive care of children from birth to age 18. As the primary pediatric teaching facility for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, the medical staff at Children’s conducts research that is instrumental in developing treatments, therapies, and greater understanding of pediatric diseases. Child magazine recently ranked Children’s among the country’s top 25 pediatric healthcare institutions and Children’s cardiac service line among the top 10 in the country. Children’s is licensed for 406 beds, and has more than 50 subspecialty programs, and is the only pediatric hospital in the Southwest with a designated Level I trauma center.

To better serve the region’s growing pediatric population, the 72-bed Children’s Medical Center Legacy will open in 2008 in Plano, Texas. Children’s enjoys a stellar reputation as one of the largest and finest pediatric facilities in the United States, but prides itself on making life better for the patients it sees during more than 340,000 visits each year. More information about Children’s is available at