Whole Kids Foundation Harvests New Crop of Garden Grants


Arizona students are about to take the classroom outdoors this fall and learn a new subject sprouting up in their schools.

Thanks to the Whole Kids Foundation, a nonprofit created by Whole Foods Market in cooperation with FoodCorps, 76 schools in the company’s Southern Pacific Region will each reap a $2,000 grant to build or expand community and school gardens. Seven schools in Arizona, 63 schools in Southern California, one school in Nevada, and five schools in Hawaii will harvest garden grants this fall.

Whole Kids Foundation garden grants provide students access to fresh produce, establish a better understanding of where food comes from and bridge the connection of a healthy planet with a healthy body – things we could all benefit from!

Garden grants were ripe for the picking for the following schools in Arizona:

•    Alchesay High School
•    Maldonado Elementary
•    Mesa Preparatory Academy
•    Mountain Christian School
•    Ponderosa High School
•    Sahuarita Middle School
•    YouthWorks Charter High School

“Whole Foods Market created Whole Kids Foundation in July 2011 to improve children’s nutrition. By increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables at schools by providing salad bar equipment, training, and funding school gardens, we’re able to help students grow a deeper understanding of where food comes from and a greater appreciation for healthy eating,” said Nona Evans, Whole Kids Foundation executive director. “Our hope is that through these garden grants, we’re helping to set the next generation up for a lifetime of healthier choices.”

WF girlsIn addition to providing funds, each grant recipient will receive a started set of seeds from High Mowing Organics and access to the School Garden Resource Center online at www.wholekidsfoundation.org to help recipients build and sustain their gardens to ensure long-term success.

“Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of Whole Foods Market shoppers during our annual fundraiser in September 2012, we were able to raise a healthy $2.27 million which provided grants for 500 new gardens and 400 new salad bars to schools across the U.S. and Canada,” added Evans.

To date, the Whole Kids Foundation has funded 1,603 gardens and 2,568 salad bars in schools, which includes 175 gardens and 439 salad bars in schools across Whole Foods Market’s Southern Pacific region, which includes stores throughout Arizona, Southern California, Hawaii and Las Vegas.

With the goal of improving children’s nutrition, Whole Kids Foundation currently focuses on the following:
•    Ongoing work to provide salad bars in schools, giving children greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
•    Offering garden grants to create and expand school and community gardening.
•    Education for teachers through classes and resources aimed to promote health and nutrition in the classroom.

For more information on Whole Kids Foundation, please visit www.wholekidsfoundation.com.
For additional information on Whole Foods Market, please visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com.     WF_garden

By Sara Putnam, marketing field associate for Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific Region

Photo credit to Whole Foods Foundation

Tell us what you're thinking...

Please share your thoughts and ideas with the Who's Green community.