Jones Valley Teaching Farm

Youth apprentices pose for a photo at the Jones Valley Teaching Farm in Birmingham, Alabama.

Jones Valley Teaching Farm (JVTF) creates opportunities for academic exploration, personal growth, and pathways to leadership through its K-12 farming and culinary arts program. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, they work closely with Birmingham City Schools to operate Teaching Farms where young people learn to grow a healthy future for themselves and their community. Sprouts’ funding will support the creation and distribution of virtual STEM lessons and home gardening kits to keep students meaningfully engaged while learning remotely. Additionally, Sprouts’ support will help sustain JVTF’s seven school farms, resulting in an estimated 15,000 pounds of fresh produce and 5,000 seedlings grown for distribution to local residents.

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First Place AZ

A man and woman in green aprons sample citrus fruits in a teaching kitchen.

First Place AZ is a community-integrated living center, where young adults with autism and other neuro-abilities learn independent living skills, with a goal of living on their own. The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation has invested in age/ability-appropriate nutrition education, cooking classes and a community gardening program at First Place AZ. In 2019, with grant funding from Sprouts, award-winning chef, Charlene Badman, hosted monthly cooking and gardening classes for residents at First Place AZ and succeeded in building out a loyal following with the desire and interest to do more. Funding from Sprouts will support the existing cooking, nutrition and gardening programs at First Place AZ and will allow for the expansion of the gardening program to two additional residential sites.

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Elementary school students stand outside holding paintings they've made of plants.

Partners for Education Agriculture and Sustainability (PEAS) hosts gardening and nutrition education programs across 15 elementary schools in Austin, Texas. Their mission is to cultivate connection with the natural world through outdoor learning and edible education. To achieve this, PEAS brings together STEM, agriculture, nutrition, and environmental literacy lessons with hands-on activities for kids. With an increased request for professional development among teachers and administrators working in the schools where PEAS hosts programs, the Healthy Communities Grant will be used to develop and launch a professional development course for adults and to launch a summer camp program for kids, keeping students engaged in outdoor education, even when school is out of session.

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Garden School Foundation

Garden School Foundation (GSF) provides garden-based education to children in Title I schools across Los Angeles. Their Seed to Table program teaches 3,000 students each year how to grow, harvest, and prepare healthy foods. In 2018, GSF launched the Cafeteria to Compost program at 24th St. Elementary, diverting 2,000 pounds of food waste each month from the lunch tables to the school garden’s compost piles. As a Healthy Communities Grant recipient, GSF aims to increase their monthly diversion of food waste to 4,000 pounds, expand their food recovery and redistribution efforts, and bring the Cafeteria to Compost program to six other schools.

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Living Classrooms

Living Classrooms works with kids and teens in Baltimore, providing resources to help them reach their full potential. Among their many community-centered programs is Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students (BUGS), which teaches the farm-to-table lifecycle to second through fifth graders. Using the organization's greenhouse, cooking lab, vegetable gardens and wetlands, students grow and harvest produce which they sell at their own Farmers Market each spring. The Sprouts Healthy Communities Grant will allow Living Classrooms to double the enrollment in the BUGS program.

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Oklahoma City Beautiful

Oklahoma City Beautiful Kids Gardening

Oklahoma City Beautiful operates programming within 24 local schools, keeping teachers, parents and community members engaged with the school gardens. With a growing interest from students and teachers to use the garden more frequently, funding from the Sprouts Healthy Communities Grant will allow Garden Educators from Oklahoma City Beautiful to work directly with the schools, delivering structured science lessons, hosting hands-on gardening and composting sessions, and facilitating regular harvesting and tasting experiences.

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Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful Kids in Garden

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful encourages environmental stewardship throughout their community through numerous cleanup and tree-planting projects and the Florida Learning Garden, where students participate in hands-on greenhouse, composting, gardening and upcycling activities. With the Healthy Communities Grant, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful will work in collaboration with Farm to School Tampa to teach kids garden education lessons through in-school and after-school programming. Kids will also participate in cooking demonstrations and taste tests with produce harvested locally from the garden.

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Orlando Health Foundation

The Orlando Health Foundation created the Healthy Lifestyles Program to curb obesity in Orange County, Fla. Through this program, the Foundation provides nutrition education and physical fitness activities to youth, focusing on groups disproportionately impacted by obesity, including those with physical disabilities and children from non-English speaking households. Combining in-person cooking instruction with personalized coaching, the Healthy Lifestyles Program is bringing healthy change to children and teens across Orlando.

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