Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey Counties offers sincere thanks and gratitude to the Kroger Foundation for its generous gift of $10,000 to help increase food security in our region through our Farm to School initiatives!
The gift is made possible by the dedicated partnership with the Smith’s operating division of the Kroger Family of Companies. The Kroger Co. Foundation is strategically focused on advancing Kroger’s “Zero Hunger/Zero Waste” social impact plan. One of their key guiding purposes is making the world a better place by working together to end hunger.
School Gardens and Beyond: In school settings, research shows that children who participate in hands-on learning in their school gardens and in cooking lessons using what they grow are more likely to eat the vegetables and fruits they see on their school lunch trays. What’s more, they’re likely to ask for vegetables and fruits at home and to ask their parents to create a home garden where they can grow their own. Understanding this, the school district opened their doors to initiatives like Farm to School that helped connect teachers, students, parents, farmers, local businesses and volunteers who developed school gardens, garden clubs, and cooking classes using school garden produce. Eventually, salad bars including produce sourced from local farms and school gardens were implemented across the school district. Today there are 9 beautiful school gardens and hoop houses (low tech green houses) throughout the district. During the school year, students, teachers, and Healthy Communities’ staff and AmeriCorps members help maintain the gardens, and during the summer, Boys and Girls Clubs, teen garden interns, community volunteers and others add help. This year, the school district is welcoming a pilot “Family Style Dining” approach where students enjoy healthy meals at tables with handmade table cloths, flower centerpieces, and teachers who sit with them, initiating conversations (and thus enhancing social/emotional learning).