AUSTIN, Texas (October 28, 2019)—Whole Kids Foundation announced today that $5.6 million was raised through its annual Growing Healthy Kids campaign at Whole Foods Market stores that will fund K–12 school programs in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. that change the way we feed our kids. The funds raised include a $1 million customer donation match by Whole Foods Market.
Donations made through the annual September register campaign will support more than 655,000 students in 1,310 schools, funding approximately 600 school gardens, 300 salad bars in schools and 100 educational beehive grants. Also, the funding will provide nutrition training for more than 7,500 teachers and school food service staff with the Healthy Teacher & Staff Program.
This year’s campaign dollars will also provide grants for qualifying schools who have previously received a garden grant to expand their garden learning program and will allow continued support for more than a dozen school districts who are engaged in transforming school food to scratch-cooked meals.
Because Whole Foods Market covers all of the foundation’s administrative costs, 100% of every dollar donated directly supports Whole Kids Foundation programs that give school children better access to fresh vegetables and fruit, as well as educational opportunities to learn about where their food comes from.
A network of 35 Whole Foods Market suppliers contributed over $1.4 million to the foundation this year. Lead sponsors for the campaign included 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.
“We are grateful to Whole Foods Market shoppers, team members and suppliers who continue their commitment to improving children’s nutrition by supporting this year’s Growing Healthy Kids campaign,” said Nona Evans, president and executive director of Whole Kids Foundation. “In our eight years supporting schools, we find that very common-sense solutions like salad bars and school gardens help our kids form healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. The funds from this campaign will change the way hundreds of thousands of kids eat.”
Since 2011, Whole Kids Foundation has awarded more than $30 million in grants, including 5,452 gardens, 5,711 school salad bars and 401 educational bee programs, which have impacted more than 7.2 million 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.
In conjunction with the annual fundraising campaign, Whole Kids Foundation’s yearly grant window for school garden and bee grants that ended mid-October generated more than 1,000 applications from K–12 schools and nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Canada. The grants, valued at $2,000, will be awarded in the spring of 2020. The next grant window for applications for school gardens and bee grants is September 1 through October 15, 2020.