Partnership supports record number of K-12 educators who want to start or sustain edible learning spaces with Lettuce Grow Farmstands amidst COVID-19 pandemic
Submitted by Whole Foods Market Foundations
AUSTIN, Texas, November 11, 2021 /CSRwire/ —Whole Kids Foundation, a nonprofit focused on children’s nutrition and wellness, announced today its partner Lettuce Grow commits to donate 1,000 Lettuce Grow Farmstands, a commitment of over $500,000, to K-12 schools and school garden-support organizations across the U.S. By growing with the Lettuce Grow Farmstand, students will both have access to an abundant yield of nutritiously alive produce and learn more about how they can positively impact the planet.
This fall, Whole Kids Foundation received over 1,400 applicants for its annual Garden Grant program—the most the nonprofit has ever received in one year. Through their partnership, Lettuce Grow and Whole Kids Foundation were able to further support the U.S.-based garden grant applicants—whether they received a grant or not—by offering the option to receive a Lettuce Grow Farmstand. More than 900 schools and nonprofits supporting children’s programming opted in, which will allow them to grow fresh produce and use Lettuce Grow’s hydroponic growing system as an edible learning space. Recipients will also receive both a seedling starter pack and growing essentials toolkit with supplies to maintain their Farmstands.
“Hands-on learning gardens like the Lettuce Grow Farmstand are powerful tools for sparking curiosity, improving childhood nutrition and creating life-long healthy eating habits,” said Kim Herrington, Whole Kids Foundation Programs & Finance Director. “Simply put, when kids have a hand in growing fruits and vegetables, they are more likely to try them, enjoy them and inspire other kids to do the same. Additionally, kids who grow up enjoying fruits and vegetables are more likely to continue eating them through adulthood. Thanks to Lettuce Grow, schools and nonprofits across the country can help their students get a jumpstart on a lifetime of enjoying real, healthy food.”
Lettuce Grow understands there is an urgent need for action, to re-think our food system and to protect the environment, and sees the long-term solution in giving consumers the tools to lead the transition to a sustainable food system. To work towards this goal, founders and co-parents Jacob Pechenik and Zooey Deschanel introduced the Farmstand - a self-watering, self-fertilizing system that allows everyone to grow 20% of their own fresh food with no pesticides and 95% less water than traditional agriculture.
“Our youth plays a critical role in helping reshape our future. They are a true force for change. Our aim is to educate, empower, and activate the next generation and provide them access to fresh foods,” said Jacob Pechenik, CEO & Founder of Lettuce Grow. “Whole Kids Foundation is a true catalyst for change, and we are thrilled to continue working with them to support schools and inspire families to improve children’s nutrition and wellness. Through the power of collaboration, we can change mindsets and revolutionize the food system. The partnership between Lettuce Grow and Whole Kids Foundation strengthens our mission to create true impact, to reconnect students to healthier food, and to lead the transition to a more sustainable environment and future.”
Since 2019, Lettuce Grow has worked with Whole Kids Foundation through its Lettuce Give program’s 1-for-10 Partnership to grant one Farmstand to K-12 schools and community organizations for every 10 sold. The benefits of school gardens extend far beyond childhood nutrition. School gardens are also shown to increase children’s academic performance and behavior at school and improve their attitudes about and appreciation for the environment. Experiential learning, which is learning by doing, also helps kids understand concepts in a real-world context.
This announcement comes on the heels of Whole Kids Foundation’s 10th anniversary celebration and annual Growing Healthy Kids Campaign, during which the nonprofit raised a total of $988,980 online and via Whole Foods Market store checkouts. Every dollar donated will go toward funding the Foundation’s programs, including future garden grants. In line with its annual campaign, Whole Kids Foundation awarded $3 million in garden grants, in addition to the $500,000 given by Lettuce Grow —1,000 grants of $3,000 each—to schools and nonprofits across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Since its founding, Whole Kids Foundation has funded more than $42 million in grants to more than 12,000 schools, supporting over 10 million children.
About Whole Kids Foundation
Whole Kids Foundation supports schools and inspires families to improve children’s nutrition and wellness. Founded by Whole Foods Market in 2011, the independent, nonprofit organization is based in Austin, Texas, and serves schools and organizations in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. For more information on the Foundation’s school programs including school gardens, salad bars, beehives, and nutrition education for teachers, visit wholekidsfoundation.org. For ongoing news and updates, follow Whole Kids Foundation on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
About Lettuce Grow
Lettuce Grow is a mission driven organization that inspires people to grow nutritiously alive produce, while eliminating food waste, toxic packaging, and reducing carbon emissions. Lettuce Grow understands there is an urgent need for action, to re-think our food system and to protect the environment, and sees the long-term solution in empowering consumers to lead the transition to a sustainable food system. Founders and co-parents Jacob Pechenik and Zooey Deschanel introduced the Farmstand - a self-watering, self-fertilizing system that allows everyone to grow 20% of their own fresh food with no pesticides and 95% less water than traditional agriculture. Each season, Lettuce Grow provides over 50 varieties of non-GMO veggies, fruits, edible flowers, and herbs. With its commitment to improving access to fresh, healthy food for everyone, regardless of income, Lettuce Grow established the Lettuce Give program which donates 1 Farmstand for every 10 sold. Learn and join the movement at www.lettucegrow.com.
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