Submitted by: Whole Kids Foundation

Whole Kids Foundation launched its annual Growing Healthy Kids Campaign to fund K-12-focused programs in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. that are working to create a deeper connection between kids and food. To date, the programs supported by Whole Kids Foundation have served more than 5.7 million children.

This year’s campaign goal is to raise $3 million, allowing the foundation to fund an estimated 620 edible educational gardens, 450 salad bars in schools and support healthy teacher programs and educational bee programs. Additionally, applications are being accepted now through October 15 for garden and beehive grants.

Shoppers at any Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market 365 can get involved by making donations at store checkouts or online at wholekidsfoundation.org. Because Whole Foods Market covers all of the foundation’s operational costs, 100 percent of every dollar directly supports Whole Kids Foundation programs.

“The programs we fund are doing incredibly important work to help young people learn more about where their food comes from and shape healthy food choices for the rest of their lives,” said Nona Evans, president and executive director of Whole Kids Foundation. “As we kick off this year’s campaign, we are inspired by the fact that data shows this work is positively impacting our children’s health and contributing to their academic success. Studies show that the use of salad bars in schools is the most effective strategy for getting students to eat more produce and new data indicates that children engaged in gardening may generate a lasting habit of eating more fruits and vegetables.”

As part of this year’s Growing Healthy Kids Campaign, several of Whole Foods Market’s suppliers are adding their support to this effort and will contribute more than $1 million. Lead sponsors for the campaign include Annie’s, Tom’s of Maine, Horizon Organic, Spindrift and Rainier Fruit. Core sponsors include Applegate, Organic Valley, Clif Kid, Stonyfield, Back to Nature, Barbara’s Bakery, Earth’s Best, Bearitos, Once Upon a Farm, Sir Kensington’s, Vital Proteins and Plum Organics. One hundred percent of these corporate contributions fuel Whole Kids Foundation’s programmatic work.

Since 2011, the foundation has invested $19,481,787, benefitting 5.7 million students. The organization has awarded funding for 4,826 gardens, 5,430 school salad bars and 240 educational bee programs. Additionally, it has reached 15,392 teachers and school food service workers through its healthy staff programs.

Grant Application Window Now Open

From September 1 through October 15, 2018, Whole Kids Foundation is accepting applications for its Garden Grant Program, created in partnership with FoodCorps, and the Bee Grant Program, created in partnership with The Bee Cause Project. The foundation accepts applications for its Salad Bar Grant Program, created in partnership with Salad Bars to Schools, year-round at wholekidsfoundation.org.

About Whole Kids Foundation®

Whole Kids Foundation, a Whole Foods Market foundation, is based in Austin, Texas, and operates as an independent, nonprofit organization. By empowering schools and inspiring families, the Foundation aims to help children reach optimal health through the strength of a healthy body fueled by nutritious food.  For more information on the Foundation’s programs, including school gardens, salad bars and nutrition education for teachers, visit wholekidsfoundation.org.

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