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Funding Facts

Posted: July 8, 2010


Western Growers Foundation Awards $15,000 in School Garden Grants to Ten California Schools

Funding Source: Western Growers Foundation

Eligible Applicants: Educational agencies

Funding Description: More California school children will have access to healthy snacks, nutrition education and information about where their food comes from thanks to the Western Growers Foundation (WGF). Last Thursday, the foundation awarded $15,000 in school garden grants, educator resources and drip irrigation kits (courtesy of John Deere Water) to ten California garden education programs.

Bi-annually, WGF awards $1,500 and other resources to California schools that submit applications. These grants are made possible through funding provided by Monsanto Fund. For this second round of funding in 2010, WGF offered grants to both after school programs and schools, as a way to reach an even broader group of children throughout the state.

“We are committed to raising a garden in every school throughout California,” said WGF Administrator Briana Lewis. “We found, however, that there are many dedicated organizations and eager children participating in after school programs where a garden would provide life-long benefits.”

WGF recently awarded grants to:
--Boys and Girls Club of North San Mateo County South San Francisco
--Fort Bragg Middle School, Fort Bragg
--Horace Mann Elementary School, Oakland
--Marie Curie Elementary School, San Diego
--Melrose Math, Science and Technology Magnet Elementary School, Los Angeles
--New City Public Schools, Long Beach
--Raymond Cree Middle School, Palm Springs
--San Jose State University & Notre Dame High School, San Jose
--Smart Moves Education and Enrichment Program, Oakland
--Tule Elk Park Child Development Center, San Francisco

WGF provides financial support to garden enhanced nutrition education programs. These programs serve to connect students to the source of their food and to encourage the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. This is one remedy to the epidemic of childhood obesity. Current research provides strong evidence that garden-enhanced education increases academic achievement, improves test scores, and increases children’s consumption of and preference for fruits and vegetables. These gardens become outdoor classrooms where teachers enrich the curriculum in more than a dozen subjects with hands-on, real world learning.

Western Growers ( is an 85-year-old agricultural trade association whose members from Arizona and California grow, pack and ship about half of the nation’s fresh produce.

Western Growers members created WGF to give back to the residents of California and Arizona who have contributed to their success over the years.