Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation

The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation announced today that it is awarding 24 schools across the U.S. with a new or refreshed learning garden as part of the “24 Gardens in 24 Hours in 24 Communities” contest, which was launched in April to celebrate Earth Month. From a pool of over 3,000 nominations by Sprouts customers, a three-month process involving interviews and thorough vetting generated in the selection of the final 24 schools.

On Saturday, September 23rd an estimated 500 Sprouts team members across the country will join together to install these learning spaces, building 24 school gardens in 24 hours. Companywide volunteer service days have become an annual tradition for Sprouts, whose team members have donated more than 10,000 service hours over the last five years, working to bring these programs to life for kids.

In Santa Fe, a garden will be built at Kearny Elementary with the help of Cooking with Kids.

“Sprouts is committed to providing children with hands-on educational experiences that shape how they think about food. We believe that our Foundation’s efforts to make these connections will play a pivotal role for children to develop an understanding of the importance of healthy eating,” said Nick Konat, president and chief operating officer of Sprouts. “We are also very excited for our team members to give back to their local communities on September 23rd as we build these learning gardens in 24 hours.”

In addition to funding the physical garden spaces, the Foundation’s donation will also support training for educators at each school site to learn how to effectively incorporate the garden into teaching practices across all grade levels. By teaming up with KidsGardening, a national nonprofit focused on this work, each of the 24 schools will become part of a learning community, where teachers responsible for the garden space will receive ongoing technical assistance and mentoring for the full school year.

“This program is exciting because we are able to invite our customers to help us connect with new schools through the nomination process,” said Lyndsey Waugh, executive director of the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation. “These schools represent 24 incredible communities, comprised of teachers and students, that will now have access to an outdoor garden, where classroom lessons can be brought to life through hands-on learning, and where students can experience the magic of watching seeds sprout, and fresh fruits and vegetables grow. We are glad we can play a role in making this possible.”

“Sprouts is a true partner who listens and understands what it takes to operate a successful garden program – and investing in teacher training and compensation for educators operating their garden spaces is the key ingredient to building effective and sustainable school garden programs,” said Em Shipman, executive director of KidsGardening.

Since its inception in 2015, the Foundation has granted $18M to more than 400 nonprofit partners focused on advancing children’s nutrition education and school-based gardening programs. This year alone, more than 3 million students across the U.S. will benefit from programs supported by Sprouts.

Winning schools are in 23 states across the U.S. in Sprouts Farmers Market communities including: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

Garden Giveaway Winners Receive:
• $15,000 – $20,000 garden construction grant awarded directly to the selected school to build a new learning garden or refresh an existing garden space on campus.
• $5,000 program grant to support nutrition education lessons in the garden.
• The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation will partner with each winning school to coordinate a volunteer workday for the garden build or garden refresh on Saturday, September 23, 2023.
• Ongoing professional development and 1:1 support to sustain their learning garden program.

To learn more, visit sprouts.com/sprouts-foundation.