Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation: Celebrating Our 2023 Impact and Hometown Partnerships


With the start of a fresh, new year, and the kickoff of our 10th anniversary as a foundation, we reflect on the many amazing moments that happened in 2023. Thank you to every educator, nonprofit volunteer and Sprouts Team Members who gave their time and talents to help advance the school garden movement. We see you, and we appreciate you! The past twelve months were filled with huge growth for our foundation and partners, and below showcases some of the highlights. 

Hometown Impact 

Guided by our commitment to building and supporting strong school gardening programs, we’ve proudly partnered with leading organizations across our home state of Arizona since 2014. In 2023, we deepened our partnerships across Phoenix and Tucson, backing key programs that together reach thousands of students.  

University of Arizona School Garden WorkshopTucson, AZ 

The School Garden Workshop connects students in public schools with Tucson’s agricultural legacy by planting, maintaining, and engaging in school gardens. Using gardens as dynamic educational tools, School Garden Workshop helps cultivate community, connect students with their local food system and uses gardens as STEM learning labs. The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation’s partnership will support the expansion of their school garden almanac into new regions. 

Students learn about sustainable growing practices while building their leadership, teamwork, and decision-making skills in the garden.

Blue Watermelon Project Phoenix & Tucson 

Blue Watermelon Project works to increase access to fresh foods in K-12 schools. With programs currently operating in 30 schools across Phoenix and Tucson, Blue Watermelon Project’s footprint is quickly growing. The organization sees a future in which all schools serve students fresh and healthy options, in which students’ families have equitable access to culturally-appropriate foods in their community, and in which all students are given the knowledge and freedom to be nourished, ready to learn and poised for academic and social success. 

A man in a gray chef's coat examines dried berries with young students during their cooking lesson in the outdoor garden.
Sprouts’ culinary director, Chef Matthew Pratta, leads a Chef in the Garden lesson with Blue Watermelon Project.

Spaces of OpportunityPhoenix, AZ 

Spaces of Opportunity was born out of an idea of transforming 19 acres of land surrounded by neighborhoods in south Phoenix into a thriving community green space. Housing incubator farms, community farming plots, healing gardens, farmers markets and more, Spaces of Opportunity is helping build a strong community centered around agriculture.

(Left) An instructor teaches students about desert growing seasons and healthy food during a class at Spaces. (Center) Row of leafy greens. (Right) Fresh produce at the Spaces farmer’s market.

Nationwide Programs

Sprouting School Gardens

At the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation, our grant programs support hands-on educational opportunities that shape how children think about food. In 2023,  we launched a new Sprouting School Gardens grant in combination with an in-store customer campaign, giving customers the ability to nominate a deserving school for a new or refreshed garden. Over 3,000 nominations were received during Earth Month and 24 school finalists were selected. Watch the video below to learn more.  

Hands-On Community Building – 50 Volunteer Projects in 50 Days! 

Our season of giving started early this year, with a series of volunteer events from September through November. In total, 50 volunteer projects happened over 50 days, with over 1,100 team members donating 4,400 hours of their time. This included our 24 Sprouting School Gardens builds, our annual Day of Service, and numerous other special partner events. 

  • Day of Service: Sprouts’ annual Day of Service took place in early November with 200 team members and their families giving back across 15 communities. Volunteers hauled mulch, installed garden beds, and painted murals in multiple school garden locations. View all 2023 Day of Service photos here.
  • Angel City Football Club: In Sprouts’ third year of partnership with Angel City FC (ACFC), the outpouring of community support by team members and fans alike continues to shine. From bi-monthly food distributions to garden workdays, there’s always something happening in the community with ACFC. In October, 65 Sprouts team members and community volunteers came together for a garden refresh at 99th Street Elementary.  

Sprouts’ CEO, Jack Sinclair, and District Director, Raul Alcaraz, add a pop of color in the garden!

Other Major Garden Builds 

  • Fort Myers (FL): In partnership with Lee County Schools, 80 volunteers came together at Heights Elementary in October to build a school garden, transforming 4,500 square feet of unused space into an outdoor learning lab. This new garden includes six raised beds, a twenty-tower hydroponic system, a shade structure, outdoor classroom seating, a variety of vegetable and herb plants, and fruit trees. View photos from the garden build here.
  • Walnut Hill (TX): A devastating tornado in October 2019 left Walnut Hill Elementary school (Dallas, TX) destroyed. I the spring of 2023, the school finally reopened and welcomed students through its doors. A team of volunteers from Sprouts, the Young Men’s Service League, Out Teach, and Walnut Hill Elementary convened in early November to reinstall the school’s learning garden, providing outdoor education for years to come.  View photos from the garden build here.

(Left) Sprouts Farmers Market board member, Kristen Blum, and her son, JoJo, have participating in their fourth garden build with the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation. (Center & Right) Young Men’s Service League volunteers constructing the garden.

Round Up for Kids’ Nutrition Education

In the fall of 2023, the Round Up for Kids’ Nutrition Education program rolled out across all 400+ Sprouts stores. Through this ongoing program, customers are given the chance to round up their purchase to support hands-on school gardening programs. With over 6,000 school gardens and 3 million students benefitting from programs funded by Sprouts, there’s already great momentum, and we’re just getting started.

Looking Ahead

As we head into our tenth year of service, we reflect on all who have helped us along the way. It has been an honor to work alongside so many amazing team members, educators, and community partners, bringing nutrition education to millions of students nationwide. One garden at a time, we are changing the way children interact with and experience food. With your help, we’re providing opportunities to connect more deeply with the land, to grow and nourish ourselves and one another, and to give back to our communities. As the school garden movement continues to grow, we’re reminded of what an honor it is to share this incredible journey with you. Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to the lives yet to be changed and the impact to come.