September 3, 2013

WGA Donates for More School Gardens

Western Growers Foundation presented fifty Arizona K-12 schools with $75,000 in grant money to create and sustain their own edible gardens.  Each school received $1,500.  The grants were provided through the Arizona Department of Agriculture as part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant.  Pending completion of paperwork, the schools will receive their funds by the end of this month.

Western Growers Foundation was created by Western Growers members as a way to give back to their communities. The Foundation’s mission is to plant and sustain a fruit and vegetable garden in every willing Arizona and California school.

Edible school gardens give children the opportunity to learn where their food comes from and the importance of good nutrition. The school gardens program is an important educational tool that Western Growers Foundation uses to promote good nutrition to our schoolchildren in Arizona and California.

“It’s staggering to think that the majority of children go without eating even one serving of fruits and vegetables a day when they should be having 5-9 servings,” said Paula Olson, vice president of marketing at Western Growers, who oversees the Foundation’s Edible School Gardens project. “Coupled with the fact that 30% of U.S. children are obese and half are overweight, it’s imperative that we do all we can to promote healthy living.” 

The Edible School Gardens Program is open to all K-12 schools, both public and private, in Arizona.  Western Growers Foundation is expecting a new round of grants to be announced by the end of this year.  “If schools are interested in participating, we encourage them to watch the Foundation’s website for the announcement,” Olson added.

For a list of schools that received the grants, see below or click here to go the Foundation’s webpage. To donate, visit

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