AUSTIN, Texas (September 3, 2019) — Today, Whole Kids Foundation launched its annual monthlong Growing Healthy Kids campaign to fund K–12 school programs in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. that connect kids to real food. For this year’s campaign, all Whole Foods Market locations will match register donations up to $1M for two weeks beginning today through September 17.
To date, the programs supported by Whole Kids Foundation have served more than 7.2M children and nearly 12,000 schools. Funds raised by the campaign will support an additional 575,000 students through grants for local schools and nonprofits. Applications for Garden and Bee Grants are being accepted now through October 15.
This year’s Growing Healthy Kids campaign goal is to raise $3.4M to fund an estimated 500 edible learning gardens, 400 salad bars in schools, 100 new educational beehives and support healthy teacher and staff programs.
Recent studies show that these types of programs have a positive impact on children’s health. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, schools can influence healthy eating behaviors, and healthy students perform better on all levels of academic success: academic performance, education behavior, and cognitive skills and attitudes. In addition, research reported by Science Daily indicates that children engaged in gardening may generate a lasting habit of eating more fruits and vegetables.
“The more kids experience that real food grows from a seed, the more curious they become about how things taste, and they are more willing to try other vegetables,” said Nona Evans, president and executive director of Whole Kids Foundation. “During the annual Growing Healthy Kids Campaign, millions of donors make small contributions while shopping. Those gestures add up to millions of dollars that make our work possible. Add to that the generous support of supplier partners and Whole Foods Market, and we are truly able to grow a next generation of healthy eaters.”
Shoppers at any Whole Foods Market can contribute by making donations at store checkouts or online at wholekidsfoundation.org. Whole Foods Market, which founded Whole Kids Foundation in 2011, will double donations made at the register up to $1M for the next two weeks. Because Whole Foods Market covers all of the foundation’s operational expenses, 100% of every dollar directly supports Whole Kids Foundation programs for local schools.
As part of this year’s Growing Healthy Kids campaign, Whole Foods Market’s suppliers are adding their support and will contribute more than $1.2M. Lead sponsors for the campaign include Annie’s, Honest Kids, Horizon Organic, Rainier Fruit, Spindrift, Stonyfield Organic and Tom’s of Maine. Core sponsors include Applegate, Back to Nature, Barbara’s Bakery, CLIF Kid, Happy Family Organics, Hippeas, KIND Snacks, LÄRABAR, Once Upon a Farm, Orgain, Organic Valley and Plum Organics. One hundred percent of these corporate contributions benefit Whole Kids Foundation’s programmatic work.
Since 2011, Whole Kids Foundation has awarded more than $30M in grants, including 5,452 gardens, 5,711 school salad bars and 401 educational bee programs, which have impacted more than 7.2M students. Additionally, the foundation has trained nearly 17,000 teachers and school food service workers through its healthy staff programs focusing on nutrition and wellness.
Grant Application Window Now Open
From September 1 through October 15, 2019, Whole Kids Foundation is accepting applications for its Garden Grant Program and the Bee Grant Program. The foundation invites K–12 schools and nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Canada to apply for 2020 Garden Grants and Bee Grants valued at $2,000. The foundation accepts applications for its Salad Bar Grant Program year-round. Visit wholekidsfoundation.org for details on grant programs, application processes and best practices.