So, we’re excited to announce that 500 new Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grants — each worth $3,000 — will be awarded to schools and nonprofit organizations starting or expanding their edible learning spaces. This $1.5 million investment will support more than 250,000 students by providing garden grants in 49 U.S. states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, ten Canadian provinces, and one Canadian territory!
Here's the Dirt
The Garden Grant program provides grants to K-12 schools to implement an on-campus garden for the first time, or for schools with existing gardens to make meaningful transformations. We're also funding edible learning spaces in non-school environments that support children's programming such as community gardens, libraries, museums or after-school programs.
Since our Garden Grant program launched in 2011, we have awarded funding for more than 8,000 edible gardens, investing over $18.5 million and benefiting more than 5.1 million students.
Planting Seeds of Change
Why is Whole Kids Foundation so committed to school gardens? Our Interim Executive Director Chanta Williams sums it up best, “We believe in the power of gardens as learning spaces. Every garden grant creates meaningful opportunities for kids to learn more about where their food comes from, gain a deeper understanding of the connection between what we eat and how we feel, and put all of that learning into action as they make daily choices for meals and snacks.”
Research backs that up. Research shows that involvement in a garden significantly increases a student’s nutrition knowledge, as well as their willingness to try and preference for fruits and vegetables. In addition, students who participate in gardening, nutrition and cooking classes ate, on average, a half serving more vegetables per day than they did before the program.