National Gardening Association
(800) 538-7476, ext. 129
Gardener's Supply Company
NGA AND GARDENER'S SUPPLY RECOGNIZE YOUTH GARDENERS FOR NUTRITION EDUCATION AND HUNGER AWARENESS
South Burlington, Vermont (July, 2004) " The National Gardening Association (NGA) and Gardener's Supply Company are pleased to announce the winners of the 2004 Healthy Sprouts Awards. The Healthy Sprouts Awards program represents a collaborative effort between NGA and Gardener's Supply to support schools and community organizations that use gardens to teach about nutrition and explore the issue of hunger in the United States.
"Food is a basic human need, but hunger is often an overlooked crisis in towns and cities across the country. In one year alone, more than 20 million people seek emergency food help. As the number of those being fed through food shelves rises, some community members see the need to act beyond just donating grocery and canned goods - by growing food for the hungry in their communities," says Charlie Nardozzi, Senior Horticulturist, NGA.
Each of twenty-five winning programs receives an award package of seeds, tools, garden products, and educational resources for growing a vegetable garden. Five of these programs also receive $500 cash and a $200 gift certificate to the Gardener's Supply Company catalog. The selection of winners is based on the demonstrated relationship between the garden and nutrition education and hunger awareness. At least 10% of the food produced from the program needs to be donated to a community group.
The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank in Soldotna, AK, involves about 100 members of area Girls & Boys Clubs in the "Growing a Garden, Growing a Community: program. Along with volunteers from other agencies, the children help plant, maintain, sell, and donate thousands of pounds of garden bounty, with lessons in what fresh produce from a garden does to alleviate hunger in their community.
The Choctaw Community Development Center's (CCDC) Youth Garden in Butler, AL, was a standout among applicants for their intensive, multifaceted approach to creating lasting change in a region where a staggering number of children suffer from poverty and the threat of obesity. Participants from junior high and high school run the CCDC Youth Garden as a business, gaining skills as they budget funds, market their organic produce, and decide how to share and invest profits. The young people learn about hunger, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices, and share their knowledge and harvested produce with others in the community.
The one-acre Bay Point Garden Project (BPGP) in Bay Point, CA, is an outdoor classroom, market garden, and catalyst for change. Nearly 1300 children are learning that they can grow and prepare healthful organic food for themselves, their families, and their community. The majority of participants come from 14 after-school programs, each offering cooking and nutrition classes using produce from BPGP. Children also take vegetables and fruit home to share. And, through Plant a Row for the Hungry, a program of Garden Writers Association, the Bay Point Garden Project makes donations to food shelves.
The South Royalton Middle School Gardening Program in South Royalton, VT, promotes two goals from the school's Annual Action Plan to empower students to develop healthful lifestyles and nutrition habits, and provide school children with wholesome food in their daily lives. These young gardeners are forging relationships with local farmers and preserving the agricultural heritage of the community. These dedicated children are pleased to be able to make donations to the community food shelf, senior center, and state food bank.
The Kids' Cafe at the Damiano Center in Duluth, MN, provides nutrition education and meals year round to kids in need. Children participate in organic gardening classes, learning about the health benefits of growing fresh produce and preparing nutritious meals. The Kids' Cafe partners with the city's community garden program, the regional food bank, and Damiano Center's Soup Kitchen.
About the sponsors:
Gardener's Supply was founded in 1983 by a handful of enthusiastic Vermont gardeners. Today, they serve millions of gardeners nationwide, offering product from seed starting supplies to garden furniture. To learn more about how Gardener's Supply is improving the world through gardening, visit www.gardeners.com.
The National Gardening Association, based in South Burlington, VT, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization has long been recognized as a national leader in garden-based education. NGA provides horticultural and teaching expertise, resources, and networking opportunities to help kids in schools and communities grow. For further information about the National Gardening Association's educational resources, grants, and awards, visit www.kidsgardening.com/grants.asp.